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fopyrigM . 



Dmprimi Ipotcst 


Provincial Maryland-New York Province 

Mtyl £>b*tat 





Archbishop of New York 

June 18, 1914 










SEP 12 1914 

/i* 6 




This little book is neither an erudite nor 
an exhaustive discussion of the great prob- 
lem of education. It is composed of a se- 
ries of simple essays written in moments 
stolen from serious and exacting academic 
duties. The essays originally appeared in 
the columns of "America," and are now 
committed to a more permanent form, at 
the request of many who found them help- 

In view of this request, the papers are 
left unchanged in form and substance, in 
the hope that the interest which they orig- 
inally evoked may be revived at a second 

The author is aware of their defects, 
but he trusts that they may continue to 
suggest some thoughts to those who are 
engaged in the great work of Christian ed- 
ucation. If they accomplish this, his la- 



bor will not have been without fruit. For 
the rest, he can say with the poet: 

"What is writ is writ. 
Would that it were worthier. ' ' 

E. H. T. 



I The Teacher and the Teacher's Chief 

Work 1 

II True Education 12 

III The Ideal Teacher 27 

IV Methods of Teaching 38 

V Mental Stimulus in Education .... 54 

VI The Method and Function of Recitation 68 

VII Discipline 82 

VIII Character 97 

IX Training for Character 106 

X Religion in Education 117 

XI Sociology and Catholic Education . .130 

XII The Boy and the Secular Life . . . .144 

XIII The Boy and the Priesthood .... 155 

XIV The Boy and the Religious Life . . .168 




" The primary aim of all true education 
is the formation of character. "The ambi- 
tion of every true teacher is to accomplish 
this aim. He longs to work on the souls 
entrusted to his charge, in a way that will 
most surely effect this purpose. The sub- 
jects on whom he works are the young — 
creatures of the moment — people notori- 
ously inconsiderate of past and future. 
Like butterflies they are absorbed in the 
delights of the present. Their souls are 
cabined and confined and imprisoned within 
narrow limits. Worst of all, the prison- 
house is so comfortable and even consoling 

that the youths either fail to realize its 


nature, or realizing it, are disinclined to 
rescue the prisoner, hence it becomes the 
teacher's first task to destroy the great 
gates, or at least throw them open, so that 
the spirit of his pupils may enter upon a 
larger and nobler life. There is but one 
way to do this effectively, to wit, by bring- 
ing the boy to realize the high purpose of 
life, by giving him a view, a great, wide 
view of the end of existence and a desire 
to play a noble part in the world. 

For a soul with an overmastering de- 
sire for a higher life will not remain 
shackled. It will live life in all its fulness, 
anxious to make the best of its powers. 
Nor can our efforts in this direction begin 
too early. Time lost here is time never 
regained. No boy who enters our schools 
is too young to be brought to the realiza- 
tion that he is preparing to play a great 
part in the drama of life. This should be 
driven home to him with all possible force 
in the very beginning, so that his school 
days may be an inspiration to him, for the 
standard which he is expected to reach 
cannot be put too high. 


He has a work to do. Its merit and 
force for good will depend upon the per- 
fection of his character and this is limit- 
less. Moreover, he should be shown that 
character is a fabric woven from his per- 
sonal thoughts, words and actions. As 
they are, so will his character be. Thus, 
he will come to know that his every aspira- 
tion is of importance; that every act of 
the present will work for good or ill in the 
future. Here is the teacher's first task, — 
the quickening of the boy's soul by a noble 

In the Sistine Chapel there is a great 
masterpiece of Michael Angelo illustrating 
Adam's evolution to perfection. Though 
the picture is altogether ideal, yet it may 
be interpreted to point an apposite and 
practical moral lesson. Adam lies upon 
the ground a naked clod, dull of face, slow 
of comprehension, low of aspiration, an 
unlovely creature. Clouds lower upon 
him, and he will not rise. But of a sud- 
den God's arm is thrust through the over- 
hanging mists. The fingers of the divine 
hand touch the tips of Adam's fingers. 


Forthwith the clouds disappear, the sun 
shines brightly, and the man of earth leaps 
erect, face uplifted, eyes flashing, the light 
of heaven on his brow. The touch of God 
has transformed him. 

Adam is the boy, the teacher's work is 
like unto God's. Adam sits before us, 
naked of intellect, dull of face, slow of 
comprehension, low of aspiration; and we 
are not only to touch him into a new life, 
but to lead him thereto, to train him into 
it. But how? What are to be our instru- 
ments? These are of two kinds, natural 
and supernatural. The latter have been 
dwelt upon so often that they do not need 
special discussion here. Hints about them 
will be thrown out from time to time. The 
former call for attention. 

Life is the great educator. Life, not 
books, should be a boy's study. What is 
it, I ask, that has contributed most to im- 
mortalize the great classic? Surely not 
the name of the author. For an author 
shines in the light reflected from his book. 
Not mere diction; for diction alone were 
as sounding brass and tinkling cymbal. 


What then! The great thoughts and no- 
ble deeds that seem to make the pages pal- 
pitate. Life. Homer's is Homer's he- 
roes. The Prometheus of ^Eschylus is 
the chained hero who made a holocaust of 
himself for his fellow men. It is this that 
flames in the mind long after the music 
of the language has died from the ear and 
the beauty of the imagery has faded from 
the memory. It is this and kindred things 
that call to the best that is in man — edu- 
cate him. From such will our pupils draw 
inspiration and courage: — ability to con- 
ceive, strength to dare. It were the veriest 
folly, then, a farce ridiculous beyond de- 
scription, to drawl through authors of 
whatsoever kind, content to replace a mis- 
placed comma, to parse a word now and 
then, to illustrate a figure and trace the 
course of a river. This may be instruc- 
tion; it is not education. He who works 
so has missed the idea of a sublime voca- 
tion, and his pupils lose forever a great 
discipline which is necessary to harmonize 
the warring elements within. They will 
not become men after the image of the 


most perfect man. While under such 
guidance, their college or school life will 
have no meaning for them. It will be a 
succession of incoherent days, leading no- 
where; a series of stupid, meaningless 
tasks, with the effect of quenching the tiny, 
flickering soul-fire which may have been 
lighted in a lower class or school. So they 
will lose ambition and drift from us be- 
cause of our neglect. For they cannot live 
on husks. They are not of a species lower 
than ourselves. They are as ourselves: 
alive with a like life every instant : in pos- 
session of a soul which needs training every 
minute of our all too short class-term. 
Every instant the lesson must be given — 
high thoughts, lofty aspirations, candor, 
so infrequent in these unhappy days, rev- 
erence, purity, unselfishness, accuracy: a 
labor, surely, for a lifetime. 

This is our task. God pity us if we neg- 
lect it. To ruin a boy 's intellect is hideous : 
to spoil his character, tragic. But we shall 
lose no opportunity to accomplish our pur- 
pose. In literature, for example, we will 
not aim merely at words and phrases and 


figures. We shall look below these for the 
chief instrument by which we are to ac- 
complish the end in view. We shall have 
praise for all that is noble, scorn for all 
that is base. The Trojan war will be more 
than a succession of battles — it will be a 
temporal punishment of crime. The flight 
of iEneas from the burning city will be a 
heroic example of love and reverence to 
parents and those in authority. The hell 
of the .ZEneid and the pool of Phaedo will 
show, first, that reason unaided by revela- 
tion demands a future punishment for 
crime; secondly, that the Catholic dogma 
on this point fits in neatly with the dictates 
of reason and meets an instinct of nature. 
Then the lesson will be made actual by ref- 
erences to current thought and other con- 
temporary conditions. All this will the 
good teacher do, if not from love, at least 
from duty; for such is the demand of his 

But to do all this the master must him- 
self be a man of character. He must 
tower over his pupils in soul power. The 
frog can scarcely teach the young mock- 


ing-bird to sing. The man of low estate 
cannot impart high lessons to others. The 
touch of his finger-tips will not cause his 
pupils to leap erect into a new-found life. 
It will but leave mire and pitch on the 
younger finger-tips. If the high thoughts 
to which he gives utterance are hung on 
his soul by borrowed hooks, they will do 
more harm than good. They will gener- 
ate in his class-room an atmosphere of in- 
sincerity which is apt to destroy the very 
capability of a young soul for many of the 
virtues nowadays sadly needed, truth, for 
instance, and respect for authority. 

Teachers therefore must cultivate a 
great heart. Great hearts beget great 
hearts. Heroes generate heroes. They 
must have unswerving faith in the essen- 
tial goodness of their pupils ; they must be 
men of sympathy and broad view, patient, 
free from prejudice, forgiving, gentle yet 
firm, humble but confident, generous, 
bounteous, cordial, dignified but not stilted, 
enthusiastic, totally in earnest with an 
earnestness that comes from the convic- 
tion that their vocation is a gift from God 


for which they cannot be too grateful. All 
this must they be, and more. They were 
taskmasters else, hirelings, and not as they 
should be, the chosen ones of God, "to give 
sight to the blind,' ' "to set free the cap- 

Such then are the traits of the real 
teacher. He who possesses them will fall 
neither in great things nor in those smaller 
details in which so many are deficient. For 
instance, he will stand by lawful authority ; 
he will not shrink from the smallest duty 
to curry favor; he will not accept an in- 
exact observation, a careless statement, a 
half truth. He will not allow roughness 
or discourtesy to pass unrebuked, realizing 
that to do so were to demoralize rather 
than to upbuild character. 

The broad ocean is composed of small 
drops ; character is formed piece by piece, 
from thoughts and words and deeds that 
come from out the soul and go back again 
to fashion it unto good or evil. Each 
morning the master will go forth to his 
work with hope and courage, firm in the 
conviction that he is to accomplish some- 


thing sublime. No difficulty will frighten 
him, no material, be it ever so unpromis- 
ing, will dishearten him. The Providence 
of God is his mantle, the faith which 
teaches him that there are divine possibili- 
ties in every soul, his staff. He will in- 
sist with himself that the roughest soul 
may be fashioned "into a vessel of elec- 

The Florentines are exceedingly proud 
of their great statue of David, and rightly 
so, for it is a thing of beauty. Yet behold 
its origin! Michael Angelo had pondered 
well the life of God's hero. He had medi- 
tated on his virtues, rejoiced in his great 
deeds, sorrowed in his trials, until his soul 
re-lived David's life so long and faithfully 
that David's image was stamped hard and 
fast, every feature of it, on his mind. Then 
the sculptor went forth in quest of material 
in which to embody that picture. He 
found it on a scrap heap, a cast-off piece 
of marble. Slowly and patiently he 
worked on that despised material, watch- 
ing every line that appeared thereon. Soon 
a form began to emerge, faint and rough 


at first, but gradually yielding under skil- 
ful blow and touch to something finer and 
still finer, until at last David stood forth, 
so fair and lifelike that he seemed ready 
to grasp his sling and slay a monster. An 
artist had conceived a hero and reproduced 
a hero from castaway material. 

Christian teachers should do likewise. 
They should conceive unto themselves 
Christ, their prototype, the great teacher. 
They should ponder His life, burn His im- 
age into their souls, till it becomes a flam- 
ing, leaping thing which must communi- 
cate itself to others. Then the most un- 
promising material will yield to their in- 
fluence. The breath of a new life will en- 
ter it. A new image will appear therein, 
weak and blurred at first, but growing 
slowly in shape and beauty, until at last 
the fair Christ is reproduced in another 
human soul. The teachers' work is done. 
Generations will call them blessed. 



Many men in many professions score a 
failure in life. The teacher's profession 
seems especially fruitful of wrecks. 
Though there are many contributing 
causes to ill success in this vocation, yet 
there is one which is generally eminent 
amongst all others. Young men fired with 
enthusiasm for a noble cause approach 
their task without a definite idea of the 
work of a true educator. They do not set a 
right standard for themselves. They en- 
ter the class-room intent on suppressing 
disorder, teaching syntax and anything 
else which may happen to be on their sched- 
ule. The printed card on which are listed 
subjects and periods, and the few instruc- 
tions which the head master may vouch- 
safe to give, are their sole directive agents. 


Books learned piecemeal have been their 
preceptors. Eealities are lost in a haze. 
It never occurs to them that each lesson 
should be a step towards the realization 
of a great scheme, the production of a no- 
ble man. They teach Latin, and they teach 
Greek, but beyond the Latin and the Greek 
there does not loom up in all his sublime 
proportions the man whom they should 
strive to form. Hence their work is un- 
inspired, undirected, haphazard, worth- 
less. For success follows only on well- 
rounded ideals prudently elaborated. So 
it is in all arts and sciences, and teaching 
is both one and the other. The successful 
artist first conceives every important de- 
tail of the masterpiece, and after that 
works under the inspiration and guidance 
of his exemplar. The architect concludes 
that a church should catch up the soul from 
earth by impressing it with the idea of 
God's might and sublimity, with reverence 
and devotion. Then he draws upon the 
canvas of his soul a picture of the mighty 
Gothic temple, with its great nave and 
huge pillars symbolic of sublimity and 


might, its towering turrets and well-pro- 
portioned arches symbolic of prayer. He 
executes his design and man's soul is sat- 
isfied. The work is a success. Do not 
painter and sculptor act likewise! Pic- 
ture and statue are both the realization of 
a proper conception. Should either man 
attempt to work without an ideal, the ef- 
fect would be monstrous, and that, too, 
not from lack of natural ability or train- 
ing, but from sheer absence of the ideal. 
A certain English painter executed ex- 
quisite portraits of high-born dames, but 
failed lamentably in his "Holy Family./' 
The lesson lies on the surface. A teacher 
with a like defect will be deficient in his 
work, and failure in education is far more 
serious both for educator and pupil than 
failure in most other vocations. For in 
education we deal with an immortal soul. 
Its fate is in our hands. Its destiny is 
bound up with our work. We are to fash- 
ion it either into a vessel of glory or in- 
famy, and in the fashioning lies our re- 
ward or punishment; — more often the lat- 
ter than the former, we fear. 


To make the situation more portentous, 
character once deformed in natural traits 
is apt to remain deformed therein forever. 
Few men retrace their boyhood steps to 
set right early mistakes. Few recognize 
their shortcomings, fewer still know how 
to correct them, fewest are inclined to do 
so. Hence the teacher's task is as far 
above the architect's and painter's and 
sculptor's as the human soul is above wood 
and stone and canvas and pigments. He 
must then labor under the influence of the 
highest and most definite idea of the aim 
of his work. 

For this he must realize what true edu- 
cation is. Real education is a process of 
guiding a human being from a state of im- 
perfection to a state of perfection. It is 
the development of man according to the 
highest attainable standards, the disci- 
pline of soul and body into the best that can 
be had. Such a process concerns itself 
with every part of the pupil : with the body 
and the senses, with the soul and all its 
powers. Since each individual faculty is 
the servant of the whole man, and man is 


the slave of none, all must be developed 
harmoniously. If one be cultivated at the 
expense of another, the fine equilibrium 
which should be the most cherished posses- 
sion of every educated man, is lost. If 
body and senses be cultivated at the expense 
of the higher faculties, the result is either 
a fox or a mere athlete, creatures equally 
unlovely. If the intellect is trained at the 
cost of the will, the outcome is a rascal. 
If the imagination be fostered to the neg- 
lect of the other faculties, the product is 
a mild lunatic. If memory alone be 
strengthened, we have a machine. If the 
will receives all attention, behold a fanatic 
or a pious dolt! God's purpose cannot be 
thwarted without sad effect, and God did 
not intend man to be a gladiator only, nor 
a mere scholar, nor simply an upright man, 
but a perfect combination of all: a lithe 
and active body, acute senses, a powerful 
intellect, a virtuous heart; such His de- 

But how accomplish all this? As re- 
gards the body, little need be said. In the 


years of adolescence a primal instinct im- 
parted by the Creator for the purpose 
guides youths in this matter. It were well 
to study this instinct and follow its dic- 
tates, curbing now, stimulating again. 
Thus the body will be trained; and the 
whole interest of the college, faculty and 
students included, will not centre round an 
inflated bag or a willow club. The senses 
require more consideration. English em- 
pirical philosophy has led to many excesses 
in their regard. They have absorbed and 
are absorbing entirely too much attention. 
On the other hand they must not be under- 
rated. They are agents of caution and ac- 
curacy, and consequently promote good 
thinking, indirectly at least. Moreover, 
as everybody knows, there is an intimate 
connection between them and the exceed- 
ingly important imagination. The blind 
and the deaf, for instance, are forever shut 
out from certain intellectual gifts. By all 
means then cultivate the senses. For this 
manual training is good. However it is 
not the only means. Accurate observa- 


tion in field and street, care in reading and 
writing play a splendid second in the 

This brings us to the consideration of 
faculties which present more intricate dif- 
ficulties. False psychology and ethics lead 
to many blunders here. Sometimes the 
memory is neglected, very frequently the 
imagination, most frequently the will. 
What, now, should our attitude be? 

To begin with the memory : first, no one 
should doubt the importance of this fac- 
ulty. It is a real handmaid, on whose ac- 
tion most of the higher powers of the soul 
depend in a marked degree. A weak mem- 
ory is often a manacle to a quick intelli- 
gence, and a sieve through which the finest 
fruits of the imagination filter. So it must 
be cultivated. There are two ways of 
doing this, one indirect, the other direct. 
Clear, accurate, noble thinking constitutes 
the first. Such thoughts exercise a salu- 
tary influence on every faculty. Exercise 
is the second, rational exercise on matter 
which is so beautiful and easy of compre- 
hension that one who runs will understand 


and love it. As is clear, great care should 
be taken to prevent the memorizing from 
becoming a mere process of gorging and 
the repetition a species of regurgitation. 
For these would promote mental slovenli- 
ness and torpor of the reason. 

Hardly less important than the memory 
is the imagination, a truly noble but rest- 
less and at times wayward faculty, which 
is easily elevated and as easily debased. 
By it man can live with angels and saints 
or wallow with the animal. Without it he 
would be little better than a statistician or 
the dry-as-dust scientist who described 
noble grief in terms of chemical notation. 
Literature would be a poor thing indeed 
without rich and varied imagery. For lit- 
erature is not a succession of words and 
phrases, nor even a collection of fine ideas. 
More than this is required. Pictorial and 
dramatic elements enter largely into its 
composition. Lofty thoughts and noble 
emotions must be clothed in superb lan- 
guage. Then and only then is literature 
born. Homer, Virgil, Dante, Milton are 
fascinating, if not sublime, because of the 


superb play of the phantasy. Moreover, 
literature exerts its cultural influence 
chiefly through this same faculty. It fas- 
tens itself on it, and through it arouses 
high ideas and noble emotions. The pol- 
ished and elegant CEdipus frequently has 
less humanistic effect than the more 
rugged Prometheus or the distinctly in- 
ferior Hecuba, solely because the first does 
not appeal to many imaginations. The 
triumphant Achilles charioteering madly 
round the walls, spear in hand, and then 
disappearing through the flaming breach, 
followed by hosts of lusty warriors; the 
giant staring savagely into Ulysses ' face 
with that one awful eye; the white-sailed 
galleys speeding swiftly on as strong oars- 
men " smite the sounding furrows;" dis- 
torted, shaggy-maned, long-fanged mon- 
sters appearing above the foaming waves 
and dragging frightened men from their 
places to a certain death; these and kin- 
dred or more sublime pictures are the ele- 
ments that thrill the youthful soul and 
eventually win it to appreciation of the 
higher realities and the more subtle feel- 


ings of Homer, Virgil, Dante, Milton. The 
imagination then is the agent of noble 
work, and every instrument should be 
called into requisition to train it. Litera- 
ture, painting, music, the drama, natural 
scenery are all potent factors in purifying 
it and stimulating it. 

There yet remain two faculties to be 
considered. The first in order is the intel- 
lect. Of this so much can be said that too 
much is apt to be said. To forefend 
against such a defect we shall confine our 
remarks to some general hints. The aim 
of a college is not to train specialists ; that 
belongs to professional schools. Neither 
should a college strive to store the intellect 
with facts. Eather its effort should be ex- 
erted to give pupils a love of learning, a 
desire to be learned, and a knowledge of 
how to become so. An illustration will 
make our contention clear. In a college 
there are two sets of men. First, there are 
brilliant fellows who perform their daily 
tasks well. Their repetitions are perfect: 
they solve problems, marshal dates, ana- 
lyze passages in a most satisfactory fash- 


ion, and, as a consequence, are graduated 
with honors. But their laurels are scarce 
a month old before learning begins to pall 
on them. Books and all other means of 
education are neglected, and intellectual 
progress ceases. The second class is com- 
posed of plodders who labor hard with in- 
different success, often stumble, but never 
lose heart. They too are graduated but 
not with honor. However, they go forth 
from the college determined to continue 
the discipline of soul, and in time, by dint 
of hard, persistent labor, they become men 
of culture and learning. The former were 
not educated, the latter were. The former 
were neither disciplined nor taught how to 
discipline themselves. Their minds were 
sponges, which absorbed and exuded ma- 
terial under pressure of a perceptorial 
stimulus. The latter, however, were dis- 
ciplined and taught how to discipline 
themselves. They received a college train- 

To accomplish this every legitimate 
means should be employed. Every study 
is useful. Each gives some aid: mathe- 


matics, caution and accuracy; physical sci- 
ence, alertness and accuracy too; history, 
high ideals ; and so on for other branches. 
They must be used prudently, however. 
One is not to be given unfair advantage 
over another, for undue progress in one 
direction means a halt in another. Then 
too the best that is in a subject should be 
brought out. Mathematics is not a page 
of notation ; history is not a series of facts. 
Beneath the one is a logic to be unfolded; 
beneath the other, ethics to be laid bare. 
Every element in a subject should be 
brought to bear on a boy's mind. Litera- 
ture, for example, should furnish ethical, 
historical, literary, textual aids to the 
work. Not many of the last however lest 
digammas and iota-subscripts obscure the 
more valuable factors. 

The will alone, the storm-centre of many 
disputes, remains for discussion. To our 
mind there is no objective reason for any 
difference of opinion about the training of 
this faculty. It needs education and should 
get it. There is impulsiveness to be 
checked, stubbornness to be softened, pet- 


tiness to be stifled, and so on through a 
long category. There are a thousand ways 
of effecting all this. But in order that a 
teacher may use them to advantage he must 
know the character of each pupil and adapt 
the methods to the individual. All cannot 
be treated alike. Twin brothers may be 
as different in disposition as lambs and 
crocodiles. And the master is not a 
herder, but a trainer of souls. 

Skilful repetitions will furnish many oc- 
casions for efficient work on the will. A 
rebuke here, a word of encouragement 
there, a playful remark now, an insinua- 
tion again, are all useful in their proper 
place. All should be used as prudence and 
need dictate. Then there are the great 
disciplines which appeal to the highest that 
is in the human soul. In the natural order 
there are appeals to honor and self-respect 
and patriotism and love of parents and 
college, and a thousand others which find 
an echo in the human heart. Such things 
should not be neglected. Though not the 
best, they are yet noble. They are nat- 
ural, it is true. But is nature bad? Is 


not the supernatural built up on the nat- 
ural? How often are we not taunted with 
the accusation that a bad Catholic is the 
worst of men ! If this be true, may not the 
reason lie in the fact that when the slender 
cord which bound him to Heaven broke, 
there was nothing to fall back upon, simply 
because the natural virtues had been 
scorned by his teachers ! 

Of course the great means for our work 
are supernatural. For there are defects 
in the human soul which only the plummet 
of revealed religion can sound, crevices 
which only the light from God's face can 
illuminate and cleanse. Religion alone 
stirs the soul to its very depths, lifts it out 
of itself and cleanses it of sin and the de- 
sire of sin. Even so slight a part of re- 
ligion as the more simple devotions are of 
incalculable value in education. The saint 
who was as ourselves, weak and perchance 
sinful, stands before the boy in transcen- 
dent glory. The young soul goes out to 
the holy one of God in admiration, affec- 
tion. Now love is aroused, now intense 
reverence, now pity or mercy, or desire of 


emulation: all, in short, that purines, sub- 
dues, and yet elevates. 

Here then is our great educator: reli- 
gion, doctrine and practice, too; gently- 
urged, sweetly accomplished. For religion 
is life also. We must insist on all this. 
For often the soul must leap up from the 
slime of earth, and to whom shall it bound, 
save to God the Father, Searcher of hearts, 
the Dispenser of the wine of love, and the 
oil of mercy? This then is education, a 
process of perfecting man, body and soul, 
by all the means which nature and grace 
can furnish. But where shall we find our 
exemplar! He breathes through the pages 
of Holy Writ. 


Tkue education is generally the work of 
skilful teachers. Since the former is a 
pearl without price, the value of the latter 
can scarcely be overestimated. In view of 
this, a consideration of the qualities of an 
ideal master will not be out of place. The 
subject, of course, is large, too large for 
adequate treatment in the short space 
which can be allotted to it. Hence the most 
that can be done is to jot down a few re- 
marks in the hope that they will open up 
a line of thought which can be followed out 

So to begin. By virtue of his office, the 
real educator should, first of all, be a gen- 
tleman. The reasons for this are too ob- 
vious to demand discussion. Not so, how- 
ever, the elements which go to constitute a 



gentleman. They are many and complex. 
Some are small and easily neglected, some 
large and difficult of acquisition and re- 
tention. All are important. In the for- 
mer class are many which delicacy and a 
sense of propriety exclude from public dis- 
cussion. There are others about which a 
passing word is better than a disquisition. 
For no teacher would tolerate without in- 
dignation insistence on the necessity of 
simple, chaste language, free from the taint 
of slang and provincialism, and an accu- 
rate, unaffected pronunciation. The finer 
instincts in which all people of the profes- 
sion share alike are sufficient guarantees 
for correctness in these matters. But this 
cannot be said of other necessary char- 
acteristics. For sometimes in the stress 
and strain of work both instinct and train- 
ing fail us. This is especially true in re- 
gard to courtesy, to which are closely linked 
frankness and openness of mind, qualities 
by which the good influence of a teacher is 
largely buttressed. Strange though it may 
appear, it is just here that teachers are 
so apt to fail. By its very nature their 


profession tends to make them exceedingly 
dogmatic and sensitive of correction. 
They spend a great part of their life in 
contact with inferior minds, which they 
must often coerce into knowledge. From 
sheer necessity of being dictatorial on oc- 
casions they are apt to become habitually 
and arrogantly so. Their dogmatism often 
exceeds all bounds, even the bounds of 
truth. The intellectual evils of this are 
deplorable enough, but the moral effect is 
well nigh disastrous. Frankness slips 
away and cunning and untruthfulness, the 
refuge of cowards, and unfairness to ad- 
versaries develop. The mind is closed to 
all suggestion and correction and improve- 
ment. It has become sufficient to itself, 
and woe betide the pupil who catches his 
master napping and dares to throw even a 
pale, flickering light on an official blunder. 
Cujusvis hominis est errare, nullius, nisi 
insipientis, in errore perseverare, is a ped- 
agogical heresy. 

This would not be so bad did it not tend 
to generate prejudice, a fault so common 
amongst teachers that it seems to be a 


schoolmaster's peculiar heritage. The 
harm which this defect works is beyond 
computation. It erects an unscalable 
adamantine wall between master and dis- 
ciple, begets distrust and ill feeling on both 
sides, snuffs out the teacher's desire to 
better the condition of his charges, closes 
the boy's heart against the man and often 
engenders in the young soul contempt for 
the master and all that he stands for, how- 
ever sacred. Nor does the evil end here. 
The boy is fired with a sense of wrong, 
obsessed with the idea of injustice, real or 
imaginary, and does not hesitate to speak 
his thoughts, thus begetting dislike for the 
school in the minds of parents and pros- 
pective pupils. The teacher too plays his 
role in the drama of further mischief. He 
speaks unkindly, often unjustly of his pu- 
pils. Minds are poisoned against them, 
and as a consequence they must meet a 
hostile and oftentimes militant prejudice 
all along the line of travel. Thus souls are 
warped and perchance ruined because the 
teacher has not the self-control of a gentle- 
man. Even though the process of destruc- 


tion may not proceed as far as this, yet the 
evil is always great. For the teacher who 
alienates his pupils from him labors under 
a tremendous disadvantage. Strive as he 
may to better conditions, boys' motives for 
study are seldom high. Few study from 
a sense of duty, fewer from fear or hope 
of reward, fewest from love of books. 
Many, however, will work out of admira- 
tion and love of the professor, who should 
strive to gain the respect and affection of 
his pupils so that he may hold the key to 
their wills for noble purposes. But this 
is a digression. 

Courtesy will bear further analysis with- 
out being exhausted. In the first place it 
is well to bear in mind that this fine flower 
of religion does not consist in soft accents, 
graceful bows and gentle smiles. It lies 
below the surface. It is an instinct of a 
cultivated soul, proportionate to the good- 
ness thereof, and shows itself in a thou- 
sand ways, such as by respect for superi- 
ors, the aged, the opinions, feeling, rights 
and legitimate habits of others, and all 
that. Here then is one of a gentleman's 


chief assets, and no teacher can dispense 
with it. Moreover a gentleman, and hence 
an ideal teacher, must be tactful, calm, not 
impulsive, simple of manner, not affected, 
large of mind in all things, not small: in 
short, so well disciplined as to be perfectly 
balanced. Those who would pursue this 
subject further would do well to ponder 
Newman's description, excising a phrase 
or two and adding to all the perfection of 
Christian charity. 

The other traits of a perfect teacher are 
numerous. For the sake of clearness they 
can be divided into two classes, natural and 

Amongst the former ability stands pre- 
eminent. Like courtesy, this quality sug- 
gests many ideas; some in reference to 
the intellect, others in regard to the will. 
That a teacher should be intellectual goes 
without saying. The classroom is no place 
for a dolt or an ill-trained man. The true 
master must have natural ability which has 
been cultivated long and assiduously. His 
subject matter must be a part of his life 
and he must be able to present it simply, 


clearly, directly, correctly. If it is hazy 
in his mind, it will be thick on his lips and 
foggy in the minds of his boys. If he finds 
difficulty in clothing his ideas in words and 
does so awkwardly, his listeners will have 
greater difficulty in grasping his meaning. 
If he is inaccurate, his charges will be an 
abomination of desolation in this regard. 
If he is disorderly and inconsequent in 
presentation, his pupils will be the despair 
of all future teachers. An illogical mind 
is almost as incorrigible as the devil. 
Learning, order, conciseness, clearness, 
simplicity, power to amuse without dis- 
tracting, therefore, are some of the quali- 
ties a successful educator should have. 

Such an equipment requires hard 
thought and perpetual study for acquisi- 
tion and upkeep and profitable use. The 
moment a man ceases to reflect and study, 
in that instant he lapses from a teacher to 
a mouther of words. No matter how 
learned he may be, he stands in need of 
proximate preparation for class. With- 
out this his ideas will inevitably be vague, 
loose, inconsequent. Moreover sciences 


grow. Then too there is constant need of 
remoulding old knowledge to meet new con- 
ditions. New illustrations must always be 
sought. The Parthians and Medes are 
dead a bit too long to interest American 
boys. The teacher must study always, not 
by books alone, but by accurate observa- 
tion also, and by attendance at lectures, and 
so forth. 

This brings our discussion to another 
group of characteristics of a perfect mas- 
ter. They may be called moral for they 
pertain to the will. They fall naturally 
into two classes, a minor and a major. In 
the former are found justice, fortitude, the 
mother of perseverance and good disci- 
pline, kindness and patience. These are 
indispensable. The teacher's position is 
unprofitable and intolerable without them. 
Year after year his life is cast amongst un- 
trained youths of all sorts of dispositions 
and habits. Some are jealous and are con- 
tinually on the alert for the least sign of 
favoritism. Some are clamorously bold 
and stand in need of stiff rebukes. Some 
are weak and timid and long for sympathy 


and encouragement. Some are lazy and 
require the lash. Some are petulant ; some 
impulsive; others are querulous, others 
again coarse. Some are untruthful, others 
politic. All are imperfect in a thousand 
diverse ways and degrees. The teacher 
must meet all these different exigencies 
quietly, calmly, effectively, bending now 
one way, now another, smoothing a wrinkle 
here, levelling a mountain there, till at last 
the soul committed to his care is normal, 
if not supernormal. 

The major and last class of moral quali- 
ties can be summed up in one word, godli- 
ness. The ungodly man is entirely out of 
place in a classroom. He himself is 
stunted, deformed and cannot form others. 
His soul is unsymmetrical and he may com- 
municate his amorphism to others. He 
lacks the last and most potent touch re- 
quired for perfection, the touch of God. 
The Os sublime is not his. His horizon is 
narrowed to earth. His thoughts are of 
gold and beef and beer and cheese, and 
alas ! sin. If he be true to his principles 
he will be an insufferable egoist. Indeed, 


human respect or lack of logic alone will 
save him from this, and both are equally 
undesirable in a trainer of men. Life will 
begin with himself and end with himself. 
His whims and passions will be his laws, 
and as far as he can effect it, everybody 
else's laws. God and state and individual 
will be so many objects for his personal 
aggrandizement, irrespective of his duties 
and their rights. Logically all his tenden- 
cies will be distinctly anti-social. Such is 
the natural outcome of selfishness. And 
ungodliness, to put it at its lowest, is the 
supremest selfishness, frantic egotism 
which outrages every sense of decency and 
justice, unseats God and puts self on the 
throne for which man should be the foot- 
stool. Away then with the ungodly 
teacher. Give us rather the man of God, 
reverent, high-minded, devout. In such 
there is a power for good, not of earth, but 
of Heaven. 

These then are some of the chief char- 
acteristics of the ideal master. He can be 
aptly described in words adapted from 
Plato's " Republic,' ' as a lover of all wis- 


dom, a man with a taste for every kind of 
knowledge and an insatiable desire to 
learn; one who has greatness of soul and 
a well proportioned mind, quick to learn 
and to retain ; a spectator of all times and 
all existence, noble and gracious, the friend 
of truth, justice, courage, temperance. 
All which we cap with the word, godly. 

Such the teacher. Great, noble, consol- 
ing is his task. Workers on marble may 
live to see their work perish, builders of 
temples may watch their masterpieces 
crumble in the dust : teachers will have the 
consolation of beholding the temple of God, 
the shrine of the Holy Ghost which they 
helped to raise and sustain in human souls, 
stand for eternity, in dazzling light, a mon- 
ument of their zeal and a tribute to their 


The teacher who reflects on his work and 
experiences will probably be confronted 
by a phenomenon which is becoming all 
too common in these latter days. As he 
muses there will pass before his mind a 
shuffling army of boys who were at once his 
care and his despair. They were likely 
lads in many ways. Physically they were 
sound, morally they were upright. But 
intellectually they were impossible, and 
this, too, not through lack of native ability, 
but rather through sheer absence of ambi- 
tion. At first blush this phenomenon 
seems puzzling, but it loses its obscurity 
once we call upon our larger experiences 
for a solution. 

As we go through life we meet many men 
of many races and characters, and amongst 



this motley throng are some who are exact 
counterparts of our smug schoolboys. 
They too are vigorous of frame, virtuous 
and amiable, but as inactive as the sloth, 
which will never move from its favorite 
tree save under the impulse of hunger. 
Conversation will soon reveal the secret 
of their torpor. They have few or no 
ideas, and those which they have are small 
and borrowed, and worn from prior use 
by many other intellectual parasites. As 
a consequence the will is not stimulated to 
great desires and sturdy deeds. It has no 
motive power. Thoughts are few and lit- 
tle and outworn, and desires and acts are 
commensurate with them, no better, no 
worse. For the will follows on after the 
intellect. Our friends are like well-built 
ships which lie at anchor in the harbor, 
rising and falling listlessly on each wave, 
and rotting, too, for lack of fuel to propel 

Now, though this condition is often due 
in part to character and careless home 
training, yet inefficient teaching more often 
plays a large part in accomplishing it. The 


school-room is too frequently the grave of 
mental power and hope and ambition. For 
there are two ways of teaching, and one of 
them is fatal to intellectual life. It ruins 
the very vitality of the mind and leaves it 
jaded and prostrate. This method is an 
unnatural process of stuffing unaccom- 
panied by digestion. The teacher hastily 
loads his own intellect with ill-sorted, un- 
assimilated odds and ends of knowledge, 
and by dint of great physical exertion 
worthy of a stevedore, pitches shred after 
shred, patch after patch, chunk after chunk 
into the tender minds of the pupils. Men- 
tal dyspepsia, with all its lamentable re- 
sults, such as disgust for learning, follows. 
Euin is at hand. For the process is violent 
and unnatural. By it the mind is contin- 
ually overloaded and weighed down with 
debris of all sorts. It cannot react on its 
contents ; they subjugate it, curb it, smother 
it, kill its initiative, condemn it to a pas- 
sivity which in the end destroys its appe- 
tite for knowledge, and puts in its stead a 
tendency to nausea at the very sight of a 
book or the sound of a teacher's voice. A 


much, abused stomach will refuse to per- 
form its functions ; so will a maltreated in- 

There is scarcely need of laboring this 
point further. However, it can be illus- 
trated from an analogy with a partially 
true example from the social life of ants. 
Amongst these wonderful insects there are 
certain individuals, the "repletes," which 
hang from the roof of the nest chamber, 
day in and day out, with crop full of food. 
They themselves assimilate only a tiny por- 
tion of the supply, just enough to keep 
them alive. Sparing towards themselves, 
they are prodigal towards others. As they 
hang in their forced position, worker after 
worker approaches them to have food 
pumped into the crop. Should the repletes 
die, the workers are at a loss for their daily 
sustenance, and death often overtakes 
them. Now, though this is not all exactly 
square with facts, yet it exemplifies the 
main point at issue. The teacher is the 
replete, the pupil is the worker. Deprive 
the pupil of the support of the teacher and 
his fate is mental stagnation and volitional 


inactivity from which he cannot rebound, 
for that the mind has lost its elasticity 
through abuse. Things would be far dif- 
ferent if a rational method of teaching had 
been employed, a method of guidance and 
suggestion, under which the mind increases 
both its appetite for knowledge and its rel- 
ish for it. 

Here, as every place else, nature offers 
excellent suggestions for the success of our 
work, and a moment's reflection will re- 
veal all of them to us. The appetite of 
the mind bears a striking resemblance to 
the appetite of the body. In youth both 
are keen. They require little stimulus, and 
the relish consequent on their satisfaction 
is great. They wane with increasing years 
and often need a spur. What, now, is the 
attitude of a mother or nurse with regard 
to the bodily appetite of the child ! Stuff- 
ing, gorging, is not tolerated. Food suit- 
able in quantity and quality to the age and 
condition of the child is given in a decent, 
rational manner. Whenever necessary, 
stimulus is exerted to promote the desire 
for nourishment. Through gradual train- 


ing the boy is brought to know his own 
needs and capacity, and the manner of sat- 
isfying himself, according to changing cir- 
cumstances. In other words, he is edu- 
cated to a point where he relies on his own 
resources so prudently that his conduct en- 
sures his growth and vigor. This is just the 
way the mind must be trained. In this case 
at least, art and science too must follow na- 
ture and help it. The teacher must exer- 
cise the utmost care to preserve and in- 
crease the natural appetite of the mind, 
by imparting suitable knowledge in a suit- 
able way, guiding rather than forcing, un- 
til at last the intellect becomes strong, 
pliable, full of initiative and resourceful- 
ness, and is set free from preceptors, 
eager and able to stimulate and satisfy its 
legitimate tendencies. 

But how can this be accomplished? 
Many means are available. Perhaps Aris- 
totle gives us the best suggestion in their 
regard by stating that wisdom has its be- 
ginning in wonder. The old sage was 
right, as anybody who has ever seen a class 
of boys pass from a lesson in calculus to 


experiments in chemistry or physics will 
realize. Nodding heads are prominent in 
the former case, bulging eyes in the second. 
Here then is our first cue. For wonder is 
the mother of interest, and interest fosters 
enthusiasm. These had, half the difficulty 
in education is overcome. Therefore, the 
first effort of a wise teacher should be to 
arouse interest and enthusiasm in his pu- 
pils. Now, he will never accomplish this 
unless he himself is enthusiastic over his 
work. Taskmasters whose only ambition 
is a salary can never draw a spark from 
the souls of the young. Drive they may, 
inspire they cannot. The teacher's enthu- 
siasm depends in large measure on his love 
for his vocation and his knowledge of his 
subject. A man who does not love his work 
should give it up. The sooner the better, 
both for himself and his charges. But love 
is not sufficient for success. Knowledge 
of the matter and the pupils must be added 
to it. It is well-nigh criminal for an ig- 
norant person to enter a classroom. It is 
stupid for a ready man to teach without 
due regard for the ability and character 


of his pupils. In both cases failure will 
be the inevitable result. No man can teach 
what he does not know well, and no man 
can teach what he does know well to those 
whom he does not know well. As soon as 
a master draws near the edge of this knowl- 
edge, his manner loses vigor and conviction 
and becomes timid and halting. Embar- 
rassment replaces confidence, and embar- 
rassment is contagious, if not infectious. 
At any rate, there is no room for enthu- 
siasm in such a situation. Travel over a 
rugged mountain road in dim twilight, in 
charge of an inexperienced guide, is not 
exhilarating either for the guide or his 

The teacher's knowledge should be broad 
and accurate. Mere specialists may be 
very well in their place, but their place is 
not the class-room of a high school or 
college. Men who have spent the forma- 
tive period of their lives under them look 
at the world and life through a pin-hole. 
Moreover few specialists are good teach- 
ers, few are even good conversationalists. 
They are apt to smack a bit of glorified, 


self-sufficient mechanics. Nor is it enough 
to know only the pages of an author. Such 
a knowledge is hardly worthy of the name. 
The teacher who learns mathematics page 
by page, and Homer or Virgil line by line, 
without assimilating the logic of the one 
and the spirit of the other, is an insuffer- 
able bore. The work he does could be done 
as well by a phonograph. Mathematics 
and literature will be dead things in his 
keeping. He will teach isolated proposi- 
tion after isolated proposition, and his pu- 
pils will learn isolated propositions, and 
that will be the end of it. The master will 
never think of pointing out sequences, the 
relation of part to part, the logical growth 
of proofs. Pivotal propositions will be 
omitted or explained without reference to 
their consequences, yet it is precisely in 
elements of this kind that the value of 
mathematics in a scheme of general edu- 
cation lies. Its chief function is to train 
the intellect not to jump in the dark, but 
to step cautiously and on firm ground, un- 
der full light. Disjecta membra torn from 
a finely articulated body of truth will never 


accomplish that. They will overload the 
memory, smother the reason. 

Nor will literature fare better. Homer 
and Virgil, Cicero and Demosthenes, Ju- 
venal and Horace will be searched and re- 
searched, ploughed and furrowed for ex- 
amples of hendiadys and prolepsis, and 
what not, all good in their places, to the 
utter neglect of all else. The hunter stalks 
the forest and uses powder and shot on the 
mosquito, while the deer run off in safety. 
Risum teneatis, amici! 

The reason for this is ignorance, or indif- 
ference, or both. To be sure, no one should 
underrate grammar and rhetoric. They 
are necessary and powerful factors in ed- 
ucation. Students of Greek, for instance, 
will have their power of discrimination 
enormously enlarged by an intelligent study 
of conditional sentences. But then the 
sum and substance of education does not 
lie in the ability to explain a grammatical 
puzzle, or to turn an elegant sentence, for 
there are things other than climaxes, anti- 
climaxes, figures and metres and unities. 
There are higher realities than these, more 


subtle agencies of power and expression. 
We plead for them: the things behind the 
veil of language, the joys, the sorrows, the 
comedies, the tragedies, the failures, the 
successes, the virtues, the passions of life, 
that they may enter into the soul and stir 
it and inspire it and smite it and prick it 
and tease it and harass it and frighten it ; 
in short, castigate it. For these we plead : 
all the elements of art, science, life which 
conduce to the formation of a man. A 
corpse is uninspiring. Literature should 
not be converted into one. It should be 
used for what it is, a record of the live 
works of live men. Through it souls should 
be brought into contact with souls. The boy 
should live with the hero "four-square to 
every wind that blows,' ' the real hero un- 
idealized. Fairies which peer over the 
garden walls of the lotus-eaters interest 
none save poets and mystics. 

Thus will the young soul grow. It can- 
not touch life without response. It thinks 
the better from experience of good think- 
ing ; it aspires the higher from contact with 
high aspirations; it loves the better from 


glimpses of pure love ; it throbs the faster 
from contact with strenuous life. It ex- 
pands and contracts, adds and prunes un- 
der the inspiration which can be caught up 
from beneath the words on which petti- 
fogging masters spend weary hours, only 
to send forth pupils with the physique of 
giants and the mind and character of suck- 
lings — Bless the mark! — both marks, 
teacher and pupil, too. 

But this is only the first means of rous- 
ing the pupil to study. There are some 
others which deserve at least a passing 
mention. Amongst these are numbered 
emulation, prizes, marks and punishments. 
The first two claim a few words ; the others 
can be treated at another time. 

All teachers have at least a speculative 
knowledge of the evils which can attend on 
emulation. Many writers on pedagogy, 
more voluble than experienced, have 
painted them in vivid colors. But then it 
is easy enough to sit clad in dressing-gown 
and slippers before a grate fire, formulate 
a proposition, dub it a conclusion and in- 
vent arguments to support it. A year or 


two of classroom drudgery would cure this 
pernicious habit. Emulation has dangers. 
It has been abused, and out of the abuse 
have grown disgusting egotism, selfish- 
ness, unfairness, jealousy, pettiness of all 
kinds. But abuse never supersedes use. 
Otherwise we should be obliged to give up 
everything, save death. Emulation is an 
instinct with youths, and cannot be obliter- 
ated save by converting our boys into mum- 
mies or marble statues. Moreover, it is 
a most powerful incentive to industry and 
progress, while an attempt to eradicate it 
would have many ridiculous consequences. 
First, repetitions would be abolished ; then, 
all those healthful games which have fos- 
tered and developed in the American boy 
so many of his finest qualities, such as en- 
durance, bravery, resourcefulness, cour- 
tesy to opponents and manliness under de- 
feat. Better direct it into ethical channels, 
and keep it there until through it the boy 
has developed all the noble characteristics 
for which it offers so fine a chance. This 
can be done by appealing rather to interior 
than exterior motives. For true emula- 


tion does not consist so much in trying to 
outdo another, as in trying to outdo one- 
self. Its motive is not chagrin over an- 
other's success, but a noble, unselfish de- 
sire to improve one's own status. The 
boy should be taught to keep his eye on 
his own record, not on his neighbor's, with 
a view of scoring a point on himself. How- 
ever, exterior motives should not be neg- 
lected entirely. They are good, especially 
those which appeal to the instinct for play, 
and tend to pit a large number against a 
large number, not one against one. Emu- 
lation thus managed is no more dangerous 
to character than a friendly, unprofes- 
sional game of baseball or football. 

Prizes, too, have come in for their share 
of bitter denunciation. Here again use is 
confounded with abuse. In themselves 
they are not evil. Even our Lord held 
out the hope of reward, temporal and eter- 
nal, to those who were fighting the battle 
of life. That there has been excess in this 
matter is only too patent. In some places 
cheap premiums are still as numerous as 
they were last century in "fitting schools," 


where young ladies learned to paint woolly- 
trees and speak poor French. The prize 
is everything : the end and the motive. Of 
course, this is baneful in the extreme. It 
places the pupil in a false atmosphere by 
teaching him to depend entirely on reward 
and not on duty, honor and such high mo- 
tives. The results will be a false notion 
of values, consequent on the undue empha- 
sis which has been placed on material suc- 
cess; and greed and unfairness, and all 
those wretched traits observable in men 
who measure success in life by a full wallet 
and the possession of a dozen automobiles. 
But all this is reason, not for the abolition 
of rewards, but for their prudent use. 
They are good in their place. Let them 
play the part of extremely subordinate mo- 
tives, and be of such a kind that large num- 
bers of the class can enter the competition 
for them with hope of success, and their 
effect will be salutary. 

In conclusion, every good method of 
teaching should tend to arouse interest and 
enthusiasm in the boy, and keep both at 


white heat until all the complex elements of 
an educated man have begun to fasten 
themselves securely in the young soul. 
Thus will teaching be fruitful of good. 



Sustained mental alertness has at least 
two aggravating characteristics. It is 
hard to acquire and difficult to retain. 
Yet unless a teacher succeeds in keeping 
the intellects of his pupils active, he will 
labor in vain to educate them. Their 
minds will become spongy. A process of 
absorption and evaporation will set in. 
Spontaneous action will give way to mech- 
anism. Growth will cease and with it 
education. Hence a conscientious mas- 
ter must bend every effort to preserve, 
strengthen and increase the interest which 
he has aroused in his pupils' minds at the 
cost of so much thought and labor. This 
can only be done by constant stimulus, and 
since no one can give what he does not pos- 
sess, the teacher must first of all keep his 



own mind fresh and active. This is not 
an easy task. On the contrary, the circum- 
stances of a teacher's life make it ex- 
tremely difficult. Routine and monotony 
fall to the share of workers in the class- 
room in full measure. The former weaves 
a pall to cover the mind, the latter frames 
a mould in which to confine or encase it. 
The effect is stagnation, which is often aug- 
mented by physical inactivity consequent 
on advancing years or indiscreet bookish- 

The pall and the mould and the physical 
inactivity must have no part in a teacher's 
life. If they do, he will become a veritable 
prig, venerable and dignified perchance, 
but withal statuesque and more ornamental 
than useful. He will live a life so far apart 
from his pupils' that they will look upon 
him as a relic of an age happily past, while 
he in turn will view them as gnomes or 
mimes in a pantomime, which pass and re- 
pass before the eye much after the fashion 
of images which haunt a fever-racked 
brain. Their needs and moods and diffi- 
culties and aspirations will never enter his 


horizon. He will have no horizon, or if he 
has, it will be low and narrow and alto- 
gether determined by his own personality. 
His interests will be himself. He will 
withdraw within himself more and more 
each day, until finally he will spend a large 
part of his time in pursuit of the phantoms 
of an eccentric soul. No very great power 
of imagination is required to picture the 
result. He will lose interest in his boys, 
they will lose interest in him and in the 
principles and studies of which he is the 
official exponent. 

His lectures and explanations will not 
vary one jot or tittle from year to year. 
They will be reeled off phonographically 
without change of tone, without gesture, 
without facial expression. Everything 
will fall from his lips, heavy, unanimated 
and uninspiring. His words have long 
since ceased to be the language of a soul 
rich in thought and fraught with noble 
emotions, and have degenerated into a 
noise as interesting as the buzz of bees on 
an oppressive day. Jokes and illustra- 
tions hoary with years and feeble through 


constant use will be read from yellow mar- 
gins of ragged note books. The statue 
speaks but — its auditors wish it far, far 
away in another world. Their inspiration 
comes from the imp which hovers near 
every boy and never fails of an opportun- 
ity to do a work of mischief. The mental 
stimulus he gives is not unto good. Fail- 
ure to educate is inevitable under such cir- 
cumstances, and that, too, simply because 
the teacher has fallen into a rut and as a 
result has become entirely impersonal or 
offensively personal. For an automaton 
is either one or other, according to the dis- 
position and viewpoint of the spectator. 
This point cannot be labored too much. 
For in this monotony and listlessness lies 
a teacher's crux. 

All good teaching is intensely alive with 
a commanding personality. To be success- 
ful, a live, noble man must put himself into 
words. He must strip his subject matter 
clear of the useless accretions of centuries, 
modernize it, assimilate it, vitalize it, elec- 
trify it into life and send it from his heart 
vibrant, palpitating, enriched with life, his 


life, his individuality. Moreover in doing 
so he mnst appeal to the whole man : to the 
eye by gesture and diagram and facial ex- 
pression; to the ear by tones; to the im- 
agination by word pictures ; to the intellect 
by simple, cogent reasoning ; to the will by 
moral lessons, the greatest of which is his 
own life. For the man is to be trained, not 
the eye nor the ear, but the man, the whole 
creature, composite of body and soul. The 
problem involved in this can be solved not 
by books, but by and through the teacher 
only. His life is his pupils' life, his 
stupor, their stupor. 

All this requires great and persistent 
effort. But then work is more than a 
teacher's pleasure; it is his duty. Teach- 
ers are only too apt to forget this. As 
soon as they begin to feel tolerably sure of 
tenure of office they are inclined to lapse 
into utter indifference, which they justify 
to themselves by ethics as fanciful as it is 
ineffective. For plead as they may, the ul- 
timate resolution of all arguments leaves 
untouched the hard undeniable fact that 
prolonged, wilful neglect on the part of a 


teacher is a crime. By the very nature of 
his profession he has entered into a serious 
contract, mediate or immediate, by which 
he agrees to give his best in return for re- 
muneration. Wilful neglect constitutes a 
deliberate violation of this serious agree- 
ment and no amount of casuistry can jus- 
tify or extenuate the offence. It is useless 
to argue that parents expect some inef- 
ficiency. For even were this true, it is 
quite beside the point. Inefficiency is not 
neglect. Moreover in this matter the 
teacher himself is responsible for his class. 
The shadow of his superior officer is a poor 
and useless refuge for him in his guilt. 
The work is his to do, the responsibility his 
to assume. His conscience, though cow- 
ardly enough to attempt to embed its dart 
in another soul, cannot unburden itself. 
Guilt is there and will remain there. The 
sooner teachers acknowledge this the bet- 
ter for themselves and their charges. For 
then they will make serious efforts to fos- 
ter the mental freshness and activity which 
are so necessary for effective work. 
Frank fellowship with older and younger 


people is a valuable aid to this. It opens 
up two new points, exposes two new ex- 
periences, both advantageous. The ex- 
periences of the older enrich us, broaden 
us, tempt us to look ahead beyond ourselves 
in order to be ready for future emergen- 
cies. Those of the young show us that we 
must continually readjust ourselves to 
changing problems and conditions. Clouds 
are bad points of vantage for educational 
work, and teachers are proverbially fond 
of living in the clouds and working there- 
from. Occasional association with a 
younger generation will dissipate the haze 
and bring the dignified professor to earth, 
in time to render at least a portion of his 
life useful to those to whom he has conse- 
crated the whole of it. Aloofness is a bad 
asset for a man who would train boys. For 
they change with changing years. The 
boy of to-day is not the boy of ten years ago 
and much less is he the boy of twenty or 
twenty-five years ago. He is of quite a 
different species. Hence methods which 
were effective in eighteen hundred and 
eighty are apt to be grotesque in the year of 


grace nineteen hundred and fourteen. 
Yet those old ways and means are only too 
often in vogue with consequences that are 
at once pitiable and ludicrous. 

To fellowship with others the teacher 
should add judicious reading in subjects 
that do not bear directly on his matter. 
He must forget his specialty once in a 
while, or else it will degenerate into a poor 
hobby, and then his thoughts and desires 
and words will be all of a piece. His sub- 
ject will be the be-all and end-all of his ex- 
istence and other existences. He will have 
one thought, no more, and a dry one it will 
be, at least for others if not for himself. 
His mind will be warped, his life dom- 
inated, not dominating. Though this is 
the result of all imprudent specialization, 
yet it is strongly characteristic of exclusive 
attention to the exact sciences. They nar- 
row the mental compass, stifle emotion, kill 
the aesthetic sense, convert a man into an 
overbearing bigot. Darwin lived to lament 
that he could not appreciate a poem. A 
page of Huxley is as narrow as a code of 
laws devised by a pious maiden aunt for an 


obstreperous nephew. Both men rode a 
hobby to the edge of their graves, into 
which they fell mentally cramped by con- 
tinual application to one subject. 

Broad reading will prevent this and will 
besides furnish the teacher with informa- 
tion and schemes which will make his class- 
room a pleasant and a useful place for the 
young. Interest-awakening resources will 
never fail him. He will be ready to turn a 
thousand incidents of everyday life to the 
benefit of his class. The eruption of a 
Pelee or a Vesuvius will prompt him to lead 
his pupils through Pliny's description of 
a similar incident. The burning of a San 
Francisco or a Baltimore will find him 
ready to explain Tacitus' picture of the 
burning of Eome. And as collateral mat- 
ter he will have at hand the conflagration 
in "Barnaby Budge,' ' Headley's truly re- 
markable description of the destruction of 
Moscow, Fouard's still more wonderful ac- 
count of the burning of Jerusalem, and oth- 
ers no less interesting. An outbreak of 
bubonic plague or cholera will remind him 
of Thucydides ' plague of Athens, which he 


will supplement by Defoe's "Plague of 
London," Gasquet's "Black Death' ' or 
Manzoni's Plague of Milan and the wreck 
of a Titanic will introduce his class to the 
Dickens shipwreck, and so on for all but 
innumerable incidents, not excluding the 
Sicilian earthquake, whose counterpart he 
will discover in Thucydides. . 

Everything will be alive to such a man. 
For he himself is alive, and life flows from 
him into his subjects. Neither he nor his 
pupils will complain that the classics are 
old, lifeless, uninteresting. He will put 
youth and life and interest into them. 
Rather he will find all three there. For 
they are there. Life is ever young, active 
and interesting. Who, pray, more modern 
than Horace and Juvenal, ' ' dead songsters 
who never die ' ' f A deft and slight change 
here and there and their satires could be 
read from hustings in Baltimore, New 
York, Boston, Chicago, St. Louis and San 
Francisco, to the delight even of the rabble. 
Samuel Johnson recognized Juvenal's 
adaptability in his day and recooked him in 
" London' ' and "The Vanity of Human 


Wishes." A Viennese, a Parisian and a 
Gothamite could do the same with profit 

But freshness and mental activity in a 
teacher avail little unless he is skilful in 
exposition. Herein lies a difficulty. The 
golden mean is hard to grasp. Some men 
assign lessons by pages without a word of 
advice or explanation. Such have missed 
their vocation. It is unprofitable to dis- 
cuss their case. Death or resignation 
alone can cure them. Others again out of 
pure zeal go to the opposite extreme and 
leave nothing to the energy and ingenuity 
of the pupils. This is a grievous mistake. 
It stifles originality, checks initiative, con- 
verts lads into intellectual paupers who will 
never learn to think or do for themselves. 
Good teachers should never do for a boy 
what the boy can and should do for him- 
self. They are not foolish, doting moth- 
ers, and let them remember that "male 
mothers" are queer, contemptible creatures 
even in boys' eyes. The master's duty is 
to make the boy active, self-reliant, re- 
sourceful. This can be accomplished only 


by throwing the boy on his own resources 
as far as is consistent with prudence. The 
forest guide does not train his novices by 
blindfolding them and carrying them 
through successive thickets on his shoul- 
ders. He teaches them to beat their way 
through the bush and briar at the cost of 
pain. The mother bird does not get her 
fledgling to fly by putting it on her back and 
soaring aloft with it. She tempts it to try 
even dangerous feats of flight that it may 
learn to wing its way safely through the 
mazes which will beset its after years. 

Teachers can learn from guide and 
mother bird that education is begun and 
consummated in travail. It is unjust and 
absurd to shield a boy from all painful ef- 
fort. When his strivings are intelligent, 
he should be allowed to struggle to the last 
ditch. The mill of pain and the press of 
sacrifice are required to make a man. 

Without them the soul is only half itself, 
a dwarfed, stunted thing in bonds which it 
cannot break. Story writers tell us, and 
how old the tale! that one day a tender- 
hearted naturalist happened upon a but- 


terfly striving to free itself from the co- 
coon. After great effort it cast off all im- 
pediments to freedom except one slender 
thread, which offered stubborn resistance. 
In pity for the creature's apparent help- 
lessness, the scientist cut the thread and 
released the butterfly, which fluttered 
gaily for a moment and then fell dead. 
The last effort for release was necessary 
for life. Such was nature's inexorable 
law, and nature violated, avenged itself in 
the death of the insect. False sympathy 
was its undoing. 

Greater calamities happen in the class- 
room for like reasons. Nature's law is 
violated, intellectual and oftentimes moral 
death follow. Better that the teacher 
study the future and contemplate the 
seething arena of life into which his pupils 
are soon to be cast. From his contempla- 
tion he will learn that victory belongs to the 
alert and resolute. The alert and resolute 
he must form then. Otherwise he will unfit 
his pupils for life. Under his tutelage they 
will dream a long dream, but the awakening 
will come, and it will be rude indeed. The 


illusion will be great, readjustment to puz- 
zling and unsuspected conditions, impos- 
sible. There will be another wreck on the 
highway of life, another tragedy fateful 
beyond telling. A soul will be over- 
whelmed, perhaps forever. The seeds of 
ruin were sown and nourished years be- 
fore in the classroom. The tragedy began 
not on the highway, but under the eye of 
the teacher, the savior of men. Vae, hom- 
ini! But all this will be avoided if the 
teacher continually lives a sturdy, noble 
life, intellectual and moral, and communi- 
cates it to his charges. Interest aroused, 
interest preserved, here is the one way of 
accomplishing this sublime work. 



Good teaching embraces many diverse 
elements. All of them are important in 
some degree or other. Recitation is 
amongst the most important. A master's 
work does not end with explanations, how- 
ever good and varied. For after he has 
given the best that he knows in the best 
possible way, he still has a grave dnty to- 
wards his pupils. He must see what effect 
his instructions are having on their minds. 
For though he may work with great skill 
and diligence, yet it is just possible that, 
for some reason or other, the stream of 
knowledge which flows from him may pass 
into the intellect of his charges, be impeded 
in its course for a moment, and then flow 



on and out, leaving the mind as arid and 
fruitless as ever. 

This should be corrected in the very be- 
ginning. Otherwise it will work incalcu- 
lable harm to pupil and teacher alike, caus- 
ing stagnation in the one and a feeling akin 
to despair in the other. The corrective 
lies in intelligent recitations, oral and writ- 
ten. This is apparent from the very na- 
ture and function of the recitation. For 
there is no instrument more capable of 
testing and training the mind. Its aim is 
not merely to gauge a pupil's knowledge. 
It has a value above and beyond this. By 
skilful use it becomes a wonderful agent 
for correction of mental defects and defi- 
ciencies. It promotes introspection, en- 
genders habits of correct and orderly 
thought, and guides the mind into new 
channels of unsuspected lore. Moreover, 
it inspires to better work, and easily falls 
in with the teacher's chief purpose by as- 
sisting in the moulding of character, giv- 
ing as it does, mental poise and resource- 
fulness in difficult circumstances, two aids 
to calmness, frankness and courtesy. The 


teacher crowns his work by conducting 
skilful recitations, the pupil profits im- 
measurably by them. 

But which way of carrying them out is 
best calculated to effect all this? Nature 
holds the key to the answer once again. 
She must be consulted first, before any def- 
inite plans can be inaugurated with profit. 
A glance at an illustration may betray her 
secret to us. Two little boys go forth to 
recreation. One is a matter-of-fact chap, 
practical to a fault. Presently he begins 
to build a toy house. He works slowly and 
thoughtfully, examining now his material, 
now the ungainly structure. He compares 
piece with piece, selects the wood best 
suited to each emergency, saws it here, 
shaves it there, until finally it suits his pur- 
pose. At last by dint of much ingenious 
if awkward work he tops off his castle with 
a chimney and then stands back to contem- 
plate his masterpiece and to soliloquize 
about it. His words reveal an ambition 
to become a man overnight and build a 
whole village of "real" houses after the 
pattern of the model before him. Act and 


speech have enabled us to follow the men- 
tal process of the lad from beginning to 
end. He proceeded by slow and laborious 
steps from particular to universal, ending 
by bringing his knowledge into relation 
with life. 

In the meantime the other boy is look- 
ing on with supreme unconcern, or per- 
chance disgust. He will have no part with 
such jobbery. His mind is rebellious 
against the narrowness of the thought- 
process required for it and impatient of 
the details involved. Soon some other 
lads join the two. Immediately the silent 
fellow takes on new life. His tongue is 
unleashed, and he suggests that all play at 
Indian. He is to act as chief, and as such 
begins instructions for the game. His 
talk, though quite inconsequent, is filled 
with imagery. Mountains and valleys and 
animals and warriors are all mentioned in 
turn. Soon the game is on, led by the 
chief, who proves himself entirely differ- 
ent from the potential contractor. He is 
unpractical and imaginative and a bit wild 
of concept. 


Here we have two types of minds with 
which the teacher has to deal, and from 
them we get a clue to the two main meth- 
ods of recitation : one the Socratic method, 
betrayed by the builder ; the other, the topic 
method, revealed by the little Indian. The 
first of these, which is most useful in train- 
ing young minds, and careless and incon- 
sequent and highly imaginative minds, re- 
quires special tact and preparation. If a 
teacher would be successful in its use, he 
must canvass his matter carefully, separate 
the important from the unimportant ele- 
ments, pitch upon the main idea, pick out 
the principal difficulty of the lesson, and 
arrange in his mind a set of clear, logical 
questions which lead gradually to the very 
heart of the subject. On obtaining appro- 
priate answers, he must propose difficul- 
ties suitable to the age and attainments of 
his pupils. The more modern and novel 
these objections are, the better, for then 
they will surely coordinate knowledge with 

This done the repetition is over. But 
this is only an outline of the process. A 


close examination of it will be of profit. 
Naturally the questions call for first con- 
sideration. These should be, above all, di- 
rect, clear, orderly and progressive, the 
easier and more fundamental first, the dif- 
ficult and more general next. This last 
caution has its justification in the very na- 
ture of science itself. For science, the ob- 
jective body of correlated truths, has a cer- 
tain fixed order. There is subordination 
and coordination of truth to truth. Some 
truths are fundamental, some pivotal, some 
top the structure. This order moreover 
should be respected, so that the mind can 
proceed in logical fashion from simple to 
more complex, from particular to general, 
and thus assimilate and retain, not odds 
and ends, but an articulated, compact sys- 
tem of truth. This should be the aim and 
result of intelligent recitation. For it 
should be constructive not destructive. 
Sometimes of course it must begin in de- 
struction but it should not end there. If 
idols are smashed, something better should 
be put in their place. There is nothing 
more discouraging to a boy than to have 


his mind swept clear of all knowledge by 
a whirlwind of questions, or filled with the 
debris of the framework of science, which 
he had erected at the cost of great labor. 
Cui bono will soon become a motto. Such 
a process is all the more lamentable for the 
fact that it is unnecessary. A great part 
of the knowledge which was swept away 
could have been saved. Perhaps all that 
was required was a deft excision here and 
there, and some rearrangement. But 
granted the worst, that nothing could be 
preserved. Then at least the bad could 
have been replaced by the good, and dis- 
couragement offset. The mind which is 
visited by a destroying tornado once a day, 
or even once a week, creeps from discour- 
agement to despair, from despair to de- 
fiance, and from defiance to ruin. Teach- 
ers who as a rule do not attempt to leave 
knowledge and encouragement, or at least 
some stimulus to better things, in the wake 
of their recitations, are building up with 
their left hand and tearing down with their 

Sometimes the whole difficulty with reci- 


tation lies in the questions. In framing 
them no consideration is given to the fact 
that old knowledge which the boy surely 
has is a starting point for new conquests. 
Then again they are often either obscure 
or so transparent that they bear the an- 
swer on the surface. It is hard to decide 
which of these last is the worse. They are 
at least equally bad. The former puzzle, 
harass, discourage and lead nowhere, save 
perhaps into blind alleys. The latter in- 
duce mental inactivity, thus defeating the 
very purpose of education. The questions 
should rouse the mind to great activity, 
put it on its mettle without taxing it too 
much, involve it in difficulties from which it 
should be forced to extricate itself with the 
least possible external aid. This is train- 

Valuable as is the form and nature of 
the questions, there is something even more 
important in this kind of recitation, and 
that is the deduction of general conclu- 
sions and laws. During the whole process 
of quizzing, the boy's mind should be re- 
flecting, comparing knowledge with knowl- 


edge, piecing this and that together, nntil 
finally it is led to draw a universal judg- 
ment and establish a law. This is vital. 
For after all, science is founded on the 
universal. Though we may not fully agree 
with Kant's Anschauungen Begriffe sind 
blind, yet we must confess that singular 
and even particular judgments add very 
little to the store of scientific knowledge. 
Hence the recitation should culminate, if 
possible, in a general conclusion. Up to 
this point the process will have been mainly 
inductive. The mind proceeded step by 
step, piece by piece, joining item to 
item, until by inference it passed to a gen- 
eral law. 

A new process can now be brought into 
play with extreme advantage. The intel- 
lect can be made both to survey the whole 
chain of knowledge which it has formed 
and to contemplate all its ramifications. 
Skilful objections will accomplish this by 
bringing the mind to a realization of the 
bearing of link on link, by pointing out the 
connection of this chain to others, and by 
showing its value, its use. Thus the rela- 


tion of fact to fact, law to law, science to 
science, will stand revealed. This can be 
accomplished by the self-activity of the 
pupil 's intellect. Thus the young mind, 
naturally unreflective and tenacious of er- 
ror, will be made to feel its power. Thus 
will it be expanded, stimulated, inspired to 
new and higher conquests. 

The teacher, too, will profit by this 
method. It will force him to prepare for 
his classes intelligently. He will learn to 
concentrate his mind on the main issue, 
which he will always keep before him in his 
explanations, leading up to it and away 
from it in a clear, orderly manner. He 
will subordinate his illustrations to it, solve 
difficulties in reference to it. In this way 
he will develop a keener sense of propor- 
tion, and will hold to a direct, open course, 
free from those wretched aberrations to 
which all of us are accustomed. 

Good as is this method, it is yet liable to 
abuse. In the hands of some men it is lit- 
tle better than an instrument of torture. 
Procrustes of old tried to make all his vis- 
itors fit into one bed; some teachers, in 


imitation of this crude, uncomfortable bar- 
barism, try to make all minds fit into one 
mould. They must get back what they 
gave forth in the order, and sometimes also 
in the very words in which it was given. 
Their questions play the part of a relent- 
less vise which squeezes all individuality 
and originality out of the mind. Thus 
forms and words and pages of books will 
be exalted above thought and mental ac- 
tivity. Likely enough, pupils will go away 
from such men poor replicas of poor 
types. But such an abuse is its own con- 
demnation. It is too enormous to require 
discussion, and does not in any way affect 
the intrinsic value of the Socratic method, 
which can be put to excellent use, especially 
in the exact sciences and in the case of 
flighty, imaginative, careless minds which 
stand in need of a severe discipline. 

But this method is not the only one at 
the teacher's disposal. Three others re- 
main. From them we have chosen one, al- 
ready mentioned, the topic method, for 
consideration. This consists in choosing 
from the lesson important topics or items 


and proposing them for discussion. The 
discussion, however, should be carried on 
by the pupil, not by the teacher. The lat- 
ter may guide it by prudent suggestions, 
but he should not lead it. If he is skilful 
in this work, the process will promote in- 
sight, imaginative power and coherence of 
thought. Moreover it will help in the ac- 
quisition of a choice vocabulary and in the 
promotion of readiness of speech and pre- 
cision of expression. If on the other hand 
the method is used carelessly, disadvan- 
tages too numerous and obvious for discus- 
sion will follow. Verboseness, inconse- 
quence and slovenliness of thought, inex- 
actness of expression, are but a small 
fraction of them. 

Yet the teacher should not be deterred 
from using the method by the catalogue of 
evils. It is most useful in the training of 
hard, dry, practical, unimaginative minds. 
Moreover, it enables the master to get a 
quick and correct estimate of his pupil's 
intellect. A boy cannot discourse for long 
on any topic without betraying his limita- 
tions. The teacher will soon be able to 


discover a weak imagination here, a riot- 
ous one there, superficiality in this one, 
disorder in another, now stolidity and self- 
assurance, again timidity and a mental 
nervousness which causes the mind to leap 
aimlessly from topic to topic as a caged 
and frightened bird flits from perch to 
perch. With this knowledge in hand the 
master can easily adapt himself to indi- 
vidual needs and dispositions. 

As is clear, both the Socratic and the 
topic method can also be conducted in writ- 
ing. These written exercises and others 
of a different kind are of great importance. 
Should any one doubt this, he can read 
with profit the humorous and illuminating 
chapters on "Elementary Studies'' in 
Newman's "Idea of a University." But 
our paper is not concerned either with the 
value of themes or their structure, but 
rather with their correction. Stupid sys- 
tems of recension deprive themes of half 
their value as a medium of education. 
Teachers mark mistakes in red, green and 
blue, and give back the papers to the pu- 
pils, and there the matter ends. The boy 


never knows his mistakes, or if he does, 
he never takes pains to correct them. So 
year after year he commits the same er- 
rors, and finally goes forth from school to 
become a blundering doctor or lawyer or 
spiritual adviser. For long-standing men- 
tal defects are seldom eradicated. 

The case would be different if the teach- 
er's work were intelligent. But it becomes 
intelligent only when the boy is led to cor- 
rect his own mistakes. Score the theme 
in red, blue and green by all means, but 
insist that it be returned corrected by the 
one who made the scoring necessary. In 
this way the boy will be forced to think. 
He will reflect and compare and analyze,, 
and call upon old knowledge to meet new 
emergencies. He will worry out old mean- 
ings under new forms, trace sequences, de- 
pendencies of clause on clause, note struc- 
ture of sentences, match idioms, learn to 
distinguish between shades of meaning, 
think, diagnose a case, and carry the habit 
thus formed into law, or medicine, or the 
priesthood, or business, where it is of su- 
preme moment. 



Efficient mental and moral training 
depends, to a large extent, on good disci- 
pline. For on the one hand, disorder dis- 
tracts and disconcerts the teacher and 
wastes his energy, while on the other, it 
renders impossible the attention and calm- 
ness of mind, without which pnpils can 
neither acquire nor retain knowledge. 
Moreover boys cannot live long in an at- 
mosphere of riot without moral hurt. 
Their ideals are shattered and their wills 
either become wayward or grow slack of 
purpose and effort. In their disrespect 
for the representative of authority they 
learn to despise authority itself. Eevolt 
against the master is often a prelude to 
formal contempt of the office and power of 
all superiors. The consequences of this 



are serious enough to make every teacher 
take thought about his responsibility for 
them. Without doubt he has a far-reach- 
ing duty in this matter which he cannot 
neglect. For his office obliges him to dis- 
cipline, not precisely that he may teach 
with ease and comfort to himself, but 
rather that he may train the souls of his 

To do this effectively, the teacher must 
first discipline himself. The undisciplined 
master is the centre and source of a vast 
amount of the disorder so common in the 
class-rooms. His defects and deficiencies 
react on those in his charge and drive them 
to contumely, for which they had no nat- 
ural inclination in the beginning. Boys 
will not tolerate a noisy demagogue, nor a 
poor punster, any more than they will 
abide an irascible tyrant, whose chief dis- 
tinction lies, not in brains, but in strong 
muscles and a bass voice. Their young 
lives may be made miserable, but they will 
demand and get the pound of flesh, and the 
blood, too. In the end they will be the 
masters. The good disciplinarian then 


must himself be disciplined. The man 
who has not subjugated himself cannot ex- 
pect to rule others. He has failed to con- 
quer the one closest to himself, and has no 
reason to expect success in governing those 
separated from him by the widest and most 
unintelligible of all finite gulfs, a different 

Hence, the first task of every young 
teacher is the conquest of his own heart. 
He must begin by recognizing frankly his 
faults and rooting them out. On investi- 
gation he will probably find that he is im- 
mensely impressed by his own learning, 
dignity and importance. Of course, his 
pupils' impressions will not be half so in- 
tense and flattering. This will soon be- 
come apparent. Then the young teacher's 
soul will begin to smart under disappoint- 
ment, and unless he has a care he will be- 
tray himself lamentably. For vanity does 
not brook dark corners and places below 
stairs. It insists on living in the open, and 
is as ingenious as a sensational preacher 
in attracting notice to itself. Anger, 
sarcasm, injustice, cheap politics, and a 


thousand other petty vices and schemes 
are its shameless instruments. It ob- 
trudes itself on the notice of the pupils in 
the most offensive ways, until finally — 
Blessings on their manly spirit! — they 
take matters into their own hands, roughly 
perhaps, but effectively. The teacher is to 
blame for all this. He has created the dis- 
order, and will father more, unless he ap- 
plies the knife to his soul. He must cut 
away anger, for it darkens counsel, and 
put up in its place calmness, which has a 
majesty about it, at once attractive and 
compelling. That done, he is ready for 
new excisions and new acquisitions. 

Softness, favoritism, undue suspicious- 
ness, the most contemptible of all petty 
vices, and that fox-like animal astuteness 
which, no doubt, has been mirrored in the 
face of every man who ever harbored it in 
his heart, from Judas to the last of the 
tribe, must be replaced by the sturdy, 
frank, wholesome manliness which com- 
mands the respect and admiration of every- 
body worthy of an education, or even con- 
sideration. The teacher who does this has 


made a great stride towards success in dis- 
cipline. He has few or no natural defects 
on which boys can play, to his chagrin and 
consequent undoing. He will be prudent 
and forceful in thought and action. 
Though boys may not cringe before him, 
yet they will not lead him by a chain. 
They will troop on by his side, happy in 
his inspiration and leadership. // 

So far we have been looking at the disci- 
plinarian from one angle only. There is 
another view-point which presents a new 
aspect. For disorder can also arise from 
poor, uninteresting teaching. As soon as 
a boy loses interest in his studies he be- 
comes a problem to his teacher. He must 
be busy. If he is not intent on his books 
he will be intent on mischief. The pru- 
dent master recognizes this and does his 
best to keep his pupils' minds concentrated 
on their work. With this intent he studies 
his boys and adapts himself to their needs. 
He never imposes tasks beyond their men- 
tal and physical endurance. He aims at 
clear, " snappy' ' explanations. His eye 


is ever alert for the first signs of restless- 
ness, which he is quick to suppress by 
change of work or greater clearness, or re- 
newed vigor of manner. His recitations 
are always times of mild surprises. His 
pupils never know how or when they are 
to be called upon to recite. They never 
feel quite safe. They are conscious that 
a call in the beginning of a lesson does not 
mean immunity for the rest of that lesson. 
If there are six recitations they are liable 
to be called upon in all. They have no time 
to plot mischief, none even to indulge the 
luxury of a day-dream. They must be 
alert the whole day. Such conditions safe- 
guard boy and teacher alike. 

Just here one may object that these prin- 
ciples are a bit too narrow to cover the 
whole problem at issue. They concern 
either the personality of the teacher, or 
one only of his many relations to his pu- 
pils, thus leaving untouched many phases 
of the perplexing question. Broader prin- 
ciples and a discussion of other relations 
would be welcome. This necessitates a 


consideration of the nature of the disci- 
pline desirable in a class-room and on the 

All good discipline is self-discipline. It 
is a concern of each individual soul : some- 
thing that the boy must impose upon him- 
self. It does not consist in coercion from 
without, but in a chastening from within. 
The teacher, tradition and that intangible 
element called atmosphere, may offer oc- 
casion for it, may even promote and direct 
it, but they cannot make it. For discipline 
is not a growth from without. It is a 
spirit within. It begins in a realization 
of the difference between right and wrong, 
proceeds to an understanding of duty and 
obligation, goes a step further to the for- 
mation of high ideals, and finally rests 
in a fruitful determination to order all 
thoughts, words and actions in accordance 
with the high standards conceived and 
adopted as the norm to be followed. 

Thus, discipline pertains both to the in- 
tellect and to the will. Enlightenment and 
strength are necessary for it. The intel- 
lect must see the truth clearly and present 


it to the will as a good to be desired and 
adopted. The teacher 's part in the process 
consists in skilful and attractive exposi- 
tions of ideals and reasonable attempts to 
persuade his pupils to adopt and obey 
them. In all this he must be chary of co- 
ercion. He is dealing, not with statues, 
which remain where they are put by force, 
but with rational, high-strung boys, who 
possess faculties which respond poorly 
enough to the lash and the harsh word. 
Eeason was never yet persuaded by 
either of these means, and as a rule, the 
will is cowed by them, only to rebound to 
former defects with redoubled energy, if 
not fury. 

Discipline, be it remembered, is not op- 
pression and suppression. It is the very 
opposite of these. It is expansion, ac- 
companied by excision of the mean and low 
and base. The class-room is not a prison 
in charge of a relentless warden nor yet a 
barracks in the keeping of a stern colonel. 
It is rather a meeting place of a family 
circle, where brothers in spirit meet under 
the care of an experienced guide for help 


and encouragement in high effort. Its 
rules are as few and simple as possible. 
Its spirit is as informal as is consistent 
with effective work. Though the rod and 
harsh words are as necessary and salutary 
in the school as in the home, yet they 
should be called into requisition judi- 
ciously, after all other means of training 
have failed. Both are sometimes indis- 
pensable for the proper upbringing of 
boys, and, truth to tell, a vast army of our 
American boys would profit by their use. 
On the other hand, their abuse is a mon- 
strous evil. Misused, they become instru- 
ments of oppression. 

Those souls only are trained which are 
allowed to live a normal life. Then it is 
that teachers can see the defects which are 
to be uprooted and the virtues which need 
straightening. The easy family circle is 
more apt to uncover selfishness and petu- 
lancy quicker than the drawing-room, ruled 
by rigid conventionalities. The authori- 
tative reasoning of a father is more potent 
for good than a sharp rebuke from a mas- 
ter of ceremonies who watches every move- 


ment with a critical eye. Rational super- 
vision is better than officious espionage. 
Indeed, the latter is not only ineffective, 
it is disgusting and contemptible, and there 
is nothing more pitiable than a system 
which fosters it, or even tolerates it. The 
boy who is tagged and nagged continually 
is a superior being, indeed, if he escapes 
ruin. He is almost sure to become a cun- 
ning, dishonest fellow, who glances out the 
side of the eye, and slinks round corners 
like a thief. Espionage is a confession of 
failure. It argues more plainly than 
words that the system which spawned it is 
incapable of touching the soul, and must 
rely on a miserable makeshift to perpetu- 
ate its life, which were better annihilated, 
for that it is a lie. Training? It gives 
none. The dog which bays the robber from 
the booty does not convert the thief. The 
horse whose training for the hunt consists 
in forced avoidance of posts in a paddock, 
is fit not for the chase, but for lions ' food. 
The pedagogue who is an officious spy 
does scant courtesy to his own character 
and to his profession. Whatever his ver- 


bal profession may be, his conduct is meas- 
ured and directed by the gratuitous and 
perverse doctrine of total depravity. He 
were better on the benches striving for 
higher ideals. Of course there should be 
supervision. But supervision and espion- 
age are worlds apart. There is nothing 
offensive or inordinate about the former. 
It is reasonable and necessary. Its 
method is directive rather than coercive. 
Though at times it issues in penalties, yet 
is never arbitrary. Modus in rebus is its 
motto. The spirit which prompts it is too 
reasonable to tempt rational objections. 
For its purpose is not so much the observ- 
ance of a rule, as the acquisition of that for 
which the rule was instituted. It knows 
how to overlook trifles, pretends not to see 
each and every fault, does not judge the 
great and small equal. Moreover when it 
has to punish, it is solicitous, not for the 
penalty, but for the good which is to be 
derived from it. Hence it has a care to 
bring the boy both to a realization of his 
fault and to a willingness to accept the pen- 
alty. But this, of course, will never be 


if the penalty is harsh or excessive, or stu- 
pid, as is the imposition of the transcrip- 
tion of long, unintelligible passages from 
Greek authors, a monstrous process even- 
tuating in hatred for a noble study and in 
a ruined chirography. 

Young teachers are notorious culprits 
in regard to punishments. Their wits 
seem to desert them in an emergency, and 
they strike blindly and wrathfully. Could 
they but learn to sleep on their wrath they 
would escape many a blunder. Impulse 
and anger always lead to excess, poise and 
calmness counsel moderation. Punish- 
ments should be meted out dispassionately 
a little at a time to individuals, not angrily 
and heavily, to many at once. Nothing 
brings a boy to his senses quicker than the 
realization that the punishment is to be 
proportioned, not so much to the gravity 
of the offence, though that should be taken 
into consideration, too, as to his unwill- 
ingness to admit the wrong and his slow- 
ness in correcting it. Boys who are de- 
fiant on the first and second day of punish- 
ment give way on the third if they feel that 


by so doing their faults are forgiven and 

In dealing with boys the teacher has four 
appeals to make: one to the reason, an- 
other to the instinct of fear, a third to the 
instinct of reverence, and a fourth to their 
love. The first appeal often fails in the 
case of young lads, seldom in that of older 
boys. Yet failure in the former case need 
not be the rule. If it is, the fault lies not in 
the boy, but either in the argument or the 
man who makes it. Young boys are rarely 
captivated by speculative reasons. They 
are almost to a lad pleasure-loving and 
utilitarian, and arguments to be effective 
with them must show that a proposed 
course of action is at least useful, if not 
pleasurable. The bonum utile and the 
bonum dulce should be combined wherever 

The appeal to fear, though at times nec- 
essary and useful, should in the main be 
avoided. Its educative influence is not as 
great as is supposed. Oftentimes it de- 
stroys the self-confidence of the timid, and 


makes others dark and secretive, results 
wholly undesirable. 

Reverence and love have none of these 
drawbacks. In them there is naught save 
power for good. By them the boy sur- 
renders himself completely to the teacher, 
whose solemn duty it is to inspire him with 
God-like thoughts and aspirations. But it 
must be admitted that in these critical and 
desperately democratic days boys require 
a high degree of excellence in those whom 
they would reverence and love. Common- 
place mediocrity will scarcely attract their 
notice, much less fascinate them. They 
demand superior mental and moral excel- 
lence in their heroes. We deceive our- 
selves by judging otherwise, or by thinking 
that we can dazzle them by false pretence. 
They estimate character by a wonderful 
instinct which is akin to that queer, un- 
canny intuition in women, which so often 
and so effectively replaces ratiocination. 
Boys' impressions of their teacher are 
generally correct. It is only when they 
begin to reason laboriously, an infrequent 


occurrence, that they go astray. For then 
false witness and prejudice are apt to di- 
rect and color their judgments. 

As a rule, then, the teacher must ring 
true to be estimated true. And he will ring 
true if he is a master of his subject and 
allied subjects; a friend of his boys, yet 
their superior ; a pure wholesome compan- 
ion, yet a prudent counsellor in time of 
need; a whole-souled unenvious man, who 
disdains to speak disparagingly of fellow- 
professors, or of pupils in the presence of 
pupils ; a man, in short, who gives himself 
to a noble cause, forgetful of rebuff and 
ingratitude, seeking only to perpetuate the 
work of Him, who set free the captive and 
gave sight to the blind. To such a one 
discipline is not a problem. 


Education which does not make for 
character is a delusion and a snare. It is 
a play at hypocrisy. It pretends to do 
what it cannot do, — make a man. It works 
on the unformed child and converts him 
into a deformed man. It misses the only 
effect worthy of supreme effort. For after 
all a good character is man's greatest 
treasure. Without this the " psalm of life 
is a broken chord,' ' with it there is har- 
mony in the soul, be trial and suffering 
ever so great. Hence character should be 
a teacher's chief est care. He should covet 
nothing so much as the privilege of bend- 
ing every effort to the formation of souls 
unto justice. Such labor is his life work. 

To accomplish this he must first have a 
care of himself. As far as possible unal- 



loyed goodness in great and small things 
must possess his heart. For he is not an 
actor. He does not teach from behind a 
mask or under a wig. He does not edu- 
cate by mere words, nor yet by deeds, but 
by his manhood, by his thoughts, his as- 
pirations, his words, his deeds, his whole 
self, every fibre of his being. He is his 
lesson. If he is noble, his lesson is ex- 
alted ; if he is base, his work is low, mean 
and ineffectual. He is a voice crying in 
the wilderness, the voice is hollow and un- 
persuasive, and the wilderness will always 
retain its primitive savagery, if indeed it 
does not increase it. The man is the edu- 
cator. The more a noble personality en- 
ters into the work, the better and more 
lasting will its effects be. 

Just here modern education scores one 
of its most lamentable failures. The sys- 
tem has become so bureaucratic that the 
teacher is a pawn to rule and sched- 
ule. He is cramped, cabined and confined 
by petty regulations. His individuality is 
smothered. His natural goodness is re- 
placed by a text book, from which diluted 


ethics is spelled between taps of a gong. 
He teaches according to inflexible schemes 
and diagrams, which have been drawn np 
in a far-away office by an unpractical if 
exalted person who knows just enough 
about boys to class them under vertebrates 
and bipeds. Thus masters are converted 
into machines and pupils go forth into 
the world trade-marked not soul-marked. 
High hopes of youth are blasted and a no- 
ble vocation is debased beyond telling. 
Happily however the bureaucracy cannot 
wind its tentacles around every man dedi- 
cated to the training of boys. There are 
some beyond its reach. These are our 
hope and consolation. 

In order that these men may succeed in 
their efforts they should first realize what 
character is. They must have an ideal to 
aim at. For good will is paralyzed by 
absence of true notions about the end to 
be attained. What then is a good charac- 
ter? It were impossible to give a thor- 
oughly adequate and satisfactory defini- 
tion of this. Its details are so numerous 
and complex and withal subtle that some 


of them escape analysis and as a conse- 
quence defy a verbal formula. For char- 
acter is life, and life is intricate and deep 
and shifty, and scorns compression into a 
sentence or even into a volume. However 
there are certain features of a fine char- 
acter on which we can fasten without much 
difficulty. First of all it supposes lofty 
ideals, high, correct thinking. This is es- 
sential but not sufficient. Something more 
is demanded. The ideals must have a mo- 
tive power. They must not be isolated 
from action. They must react constantly 
on the will, moving it to repeated, delib- 
erate deeds, until habits which embody 
lofty principles become so involved with 
life itself that one is the measure of the 
other. Theoretically all this is quite com- 
monplace. Practically it is shamefully 
neglected. We have reached a stage 
where the few noble ideals left to our peo- 
ple affect many of their possessors on 
bright Sundays during "service." Their 
workaday lives are in strange contrast to 
their Sunday professions. The result is 
an open book writ so large that he who 


runs ever so swiftly can read without fear 
of eye-strain. 

Character then is a fixed condition of 
the soul, a permanent state in which the 
spirit lives and moves under the inspira- 
tion and guidance of deep-rooted princi- 
ples. It is not a fitful thing, something 
which changes with the weather or comes 
and goes at beck and call. It is life, 
strong, exalted life, which outlasts the 
mortal breath and lives on for eternity. 
True, men may sometimes fall short of 
their ideals, but they are not for that char- 
acterless. Falls are incidents even in the 
lives of the just, and sad though they be, 
they may not be indicative of more than 
a passing weakness. Occasional lapses 
are perfectly consistent with a character 
which may be good, albeit not perfect. The 
crux of this question is not in infrequent 
deviations from high standards, but rather 
in the total lack of all elevating principles. 
Better a hundred, yea, a thousand falls 
which bring repentance than an unguided 
or misguided life. The latter were charac- 
terless, the former is not. 


Teachers of boys are only too apt to en- 
tertain wrong notions on this point. They 
forget that character formation is the 
work of a lifetime, done, may be, in storms 
which every now and then displace por- 
tions of the spiritual edifice which is build- 
ing in pain and travail. The shortcom- 
ings of their pupils discourage and embit- 
ter them. They give up in despair of ac- 
complishing any lasting good and await 
their Nunc dimittis with high expectation. 
foolish and slow of heart ! Foolish, that 
they do not understand life ; slow of heart, 
that they do not place their trust on high 
and begin anew, even after the edifice 
which they saw rising under their eyes 
collapses with a crash. All is not lost. 
The crash may be more apparent than real. 
For boyhood is a time of strange, gusty 
moods and stranger contradictions. The 
wind of the moods may be boisterous, but 
it is seldom strong enough to do lasting 
hurt. It disturbs the surface of the soul 
and leaves the inner depths untouched. 
The whim of the contradiction may lead 
the boy to emphasize the evil that is in 


him and hide the good. But virtue is there 
and will soon reassert itself in all its na- 
tive vigor and beauty. The teacher's ideal- 
ism would seldom be blighted, his energy 
seldom sapped through disappointment, did 
he but call to his experiences in the for- 
mation of his own character. The book of 
his life is scored with failures. Struggle 
was and is the meat and drink and breath 
of his life; eternal vigilance, the price of 
his every victory. And failure and strug- 
gle and vigilance are emphatically not 
signs of lack of character. Were it so, 
the corpse would be most masterful. 
Whence, then, discouragement save from 
a pusillanimous heart? Courage and con- 
fidence, a martyr's motto, be our inspira- 
tion. After we have assisted the boy to 
lay the broad outlines of his character, let 
us help him with the details thereof. For 
they are many and fickle and worrisome 
and demand constant, toilsome effort. In 
the end success will crown our work. For 
Nature is not altogether bad and Grace is 
strong. The constant striving of the boy, 
guided by us, will bring unto him integ- 


rity, which will make him true to himself 
and hence to others; courage which will 
rejoice to make an enemy for the sake of 
principle and scorn to find a friend at the 
cost of a principle; patience which endur- 
eth all things; joy that scattereth bless- 
ings in the way; kindness which refuses to 
crush the bruised reed or quench the smok- 
ing flax: in short, all the characteristics 
which Saint Peter postulates for those 
"who have obtained equal faith with us 
in the justice of our God and Savior 
Jesus Christ ": faith and courage and 
knowledge and abstinence and patience 
and brotherly kindness and love, which if 
they be with us and abound, will make us 
neither empty nor unfruitful. 

The Greeks of old, drunk with joy over 
their high estate, would honor Zeus for 
that he had been benign. They searched 
their quarries for flawless, spotless mar- 
ble, and finding it, they set their most ex- 
pert sculptor to carve therefrom a godlike 
statue of the godly Zeus. The work was 
done. The happy Greeks thronged to pay 
the statue homage. At first sight they ac- 


claimed it for its majesty and beauty. But 
soon their joy was turned to wrath by the 
discovery of the sculptor's name cut so 
deep into the fair marble that its removal 
could be accomplished only by the destruc- 
tion of the statue itself. The work of the 
Christian educator is symbolized in this. 
He is to send forth a Godlike man, with 
the name and character of Christ, the real 
fashioner of hearts, cut so deep into the 
soul that they can be removed only by the 
annihilation of the soul itself. But Christ 
the Lord of creation and Savior of men 
will not permit so great a calamity. Let 
us see how all this can be accomplished. 


At present there is perhaps no subject 
more frequently discussed in pedagogical 
circles than the formation of character. 
The subject itself appeals to every teacher. 
Moreover, something akin to a panic has 
been caused amongst educators by sharp 
criticisms of their failure to fashion boys 
of sterling worth, and panics which are 
not too soul-racking promote debate. 

The net result is that discussion has far 
outrun achievement, chiefly because the 
principles laid down are only too often 
vague and impracticable. Hence the topic 
presents further opportunity for argu- 

What part is the teacher to play in form- 
ing a pupil's character? In general he 
must both inculcate principles and foster 



the formation of habits. This requires 
constant activity and elaborate but definite 
knowledge. Mere acquaintance with cer- 
tain common foibles of human nature is 
not sufficient. Each boy in particular 
must be known intimately and trained in- 
dividually. Otherwise there is much use- 
less beating of the air. 

The acquisition of the necessary knowl- 
edge depends on circumstances which vary 
with persons, times and places. But cer- 
tain general hints may help to its attain- 

Those for whom these papers were 
chiefly written are thrown in contact with 
boys of many different extractions. Each 
group is marked by certain traits. The 
lads of one set are intellectually quick, 
critical, destructive rather than construc- 
tive. They are disinclined to the hard, 
persistent effort which results in thor- 
oughness. They work well under stimu- 
lus, but are apt to give up once the goad 
is lifted. Moreover, they are emotional 
and sensitive, forgiving in great injustices, 
unforgiving in small offences, prodigal in 


poverty, tight in wealth, tender to all in 
distress, hard on their fellows who are suc- 
cessful, but a bit obsequious to alien peo- 
ples of wealth or influence. 

The boys of the second class are men- 
tally slow, but persistent and thorough. 
They set their teeth firm and reach the 
goal in triumph, late it may be, but well 
for all that. They are stolid to a certain 
point. Beyond that they are passionate. 
Their melancholia is acute and prolonged, 
their anger vehement. Their boiling point 
is high but once it is reached there is a 
mighty ebullition and an overflow which is 
uncomfortable to the objects of their 
wrath. They possess a wonderful instinct 
for organization, which is sometimes car- 
ried to the excess of undue insistence on 
petty details, and an unfortunate exclusive- 

The third group resembles the second in 
many ways. Its members partake of 
many of the latter 's good qualities, but 
they lack the instinct for organization, and 
their defects are more pronounced. This 
is especially true of stubbornness and an- 


ger. There are few lads of this group 
who are not sons of Boanerges in dis- 

Finally, the boys of the last class are 
quick in speculation, but inept in practical 
affairs, except perhaps in diplomacy. 
They are mystical and emotional, and lit- 
tle inclined to intellectual drudgery. They 
are capable of the highest idealism, which 
is often tainted by self-interest. Such in 
general are some of the characteristics of 
our pupils. 

But a teacher's view of the difficulties 
which will be encountered would be incom- 
plete without some very definite notions of 
the influences which play upon boys in 
America. In the first place, responsibil- 
ity sits lightly upon the shoulders of many 
American parents. They are selfish and 
frivolous, and quite willing to shift the 
burden of the more serious parental duties 
to other shoulders. Their whole attitude 
towards their boys is apt to be wrong. 
Eightly enough they often make compan- 
ions of their children at an early age. But 
the companionship is not always as whole- 


some as it might be. Conversation very 
often turns to criticism of the boy's 
teacher, pastor or superior. Authority is 
attacked. The boy's sense of reverence 
and obedience is either weakened or de- 
stroyed, and before long he holds the reins 
of parental power in his hands. He rules 
the home, and naturally enough attempts 
to lord it over his teacher. He has a false 
idea of manliness. He confounds it with 
the most unmanly of all defects, pertness 
and a contempt for submission to lawful 
authority. These wretched conditions are 
due to the home. Outside influences have 
a worse effect upon him. The very atmos- 
phere which he breathes is morally un- 
healthful. Lying and other forms of dis- 
honesty are so common that they excite 
little surprise. Raiment is more than life. 
Pleasure is more than the soul. Money is 
the be-all and end-all, it is Circe's bread 
and wine, the cause of a thousand woes in 
which many rejoice. The godless and ig- 
norant man, who a decade or two ago 
coined money from the blood of the poor, 
is the hero of the hour. He is featured in 


the public press. His goings and comings 
are noted in red ink. His vices are 
trumpeted as things of glory. His pic- 
ture and those of his successive living 
wives are printed in a prominent place. 
His benefactions are tagged with his name. 
Applause is long and loud, even though his 
filthy coins are given for cheap glory's 
sake, and bid fair to prostitute the nation's 
ideals and institutions to ungodliness. 

All this has a most deleterious effect 
upon our boys. It tinsels baseness and 
glorifies infamy, and tinsel and sham glory 
dazzle and pervert youth. Thus pupils 
come to our schools spoiled, abnormal, mis- 
shapen. Deep down in their hearts lurk 
ideals which are only too often brought 
into play by the first temptations of man- 
hood. Great is the ruin. To offset this 
their souls must be reshaped, their spirit 
remade. The task of reform will be huge, 
but not hopeless. At least hopeful ma- 
terial is at hand, an immortal soul, the 
image of an all-holy God. Faith too is 
present, and faith is the foundation of all 
that is high and noble and holy. 


As soon as the boy is committed to the 
teacher's care his training should be in- 
augurated. No moment should be lost. 
Late conversions are apt to be few and 
far between, and though they are a bless- 
ing in comparison with a former condition, 
yet they are seldom as satisfactory as a 
slow, steady growth in goodness from 
childhood to old age. Carpe diem cannot 
be insisted on too much. A spoiled boy of 
twelve years is a difficult problem, one of 
fourteen years a knotty problem, one of 
seventeen an all but desperate problem. 
Hope of perfect success rests to a great 
extent on early beginnings. The little 
prince is trained for kingship from in- 
fancy, so that on accession to the throne 
he will be a king in deed and not in name 
alone. It were a stupid thing for his 
training to wait on the sceptre. King and 
kingdom were lost. It were equally stupid 
to permit a boy to enter the kingdom of 
manhood, undirected by a guiding hand r 
untouched by the chastening rod of disci- 
pline. The kingdom of manhood is fac- 
tious, difficult of rule, and the king un- 


trained from youth is slack of purpose and 
unsteady in achievement, a weakly thing 
swayed by every wind of passion, like a 
slender, naked reed in a stiff November 
storm. Elpenor of old were not more 
pitiable, and of him the minstrel sang in 
biting words : 

There was Elpenor, the youngest, — a chap 

of little worth, 
Nor stanch in battle, nor well-knit of soul. 

How often are we not called upon to 
say of many of our pupils that they are 
not stanch in battle, nor well-knit of soul? 
A little heart-searching would frequently 
fasten the shame of such conditions on us. 
For few teachers work earnestly and in- 
telligently at character formation. Most 
of them are content to let good enough 
alone. External discipline is their only 
concern. Others again put a slight veneer 
-over a soul which festers at the core. Age 
and sorrow and temptation and sin eat 
through the covering in a thousand places, 
and bequeath to the world a race of 
crabbed old men. This will never do. 


Nor will it suffice simply to uproot vices. 
The garden is not made beautiful by a 
mere process of weeding, but barren and 
ready perchance for a new crop of more 
loathsome weeds. There must be a sow- 
ing of good seed. Culture must succeed 
the planting, until at last the perfect 
flower rewards the labor done. 

One by one, slowly and patiently, at- 
tractive ideals must be held up before the 
pupils. There must be no confusion, no 
bustle, no magisterial tones, but peace and 
calmness and simplicity. Above all there 
must be a rational system. To get a boy 
to adopt two or three principles a year is 
a great victory. But a master will never 
bring this to pass by pitch-forking ideals 
into little heads. The farmer who scat- 
ters all sorts of seeds on the same ground 
harvests nothing. The teacher should 
classify his boys according to their races, 
watch for national characteristics, learn 
personal traits, and fit his training to the 
needs, and as the needs are generally va- 
ried, so too must the training be. il Treat 
all alike,' ' advice often given to young 


teachers, is absurd and impossible. As 
well might the old practitioner say to the 
young doctor: " Treat your typhoid, 
small-pox and grip patients exactly in the 
same way." To treat the timid and the 
bold, the sluggard and the plodder, the 
reverent and the irreverent alike, is either 
to crush the one or to harden the other in 
evil. Treat all differently is often the only 
sensible advice. Before all else the 
teacher must beware of shielding the boys 
from trial and struggle. He should not 
graft virtues on to their souls. He must 
let his pupils suffer the travail incident to 
the formation of their characters. They 
themselves must struggle to train their 
souls under the master's direction. En- 
vironment, exposition of principles, en- 
couragement, are all indispensable, but in- 
sufficient and even ineffective without work 
and suffering on the part of the boy. 
Goethe hits upon more than a half truth 
in his Es bildet ein Talent sick in der 
Stille, dock ein Character in der Strom der 
Welt. Struggle and even temptation make 
for fuller development. Trial deepens 


courage, temptation engenders self-con- 
trol and sympathy, sorrow fathers meek- 
ness and patience, intellectual difficulties 
foster humility, the ingratitude of others 
promotes unselfishness in us. What could 
be better? For life is not a tripping to a 
dance measure. The pace must often be 
set to the music of the battle march, or the 
solemn beat of the dirge. For such men 
must be prepared. We dance by instinct. 
But even after stern preparation we gird 
our loins and swing the battle-axe with 
clumsy reluctance. Without training our 
young men will do neither in any way. 
Failure, doom, will be their fate. 

On the other hand, with proper care pu- 
pils will leave our halls lofty of mind, 
strong of will, sound of judgment, poised 
in all things : men who will sing under low- 
ering clouds, and whistle in the teeth of a 
biting wind. 

"I dare do all that may become a man; 
Who dares do more, is none" 

will mean more for them than for Mac- 
beth himself. 


Education without religious training is 
sadly incomplete. Such is the verdict of 
reason and experience. The latter pre- 
sents an open book eloquent in testimony 
of the ills which follow an ungodly up- 
bringing. The former convinces us that 
man has spiritual faculties which can be 
perfected to their fullest extent by religion 

Moreover, viewed from a merely human 
standpoint, life is an inevitable failure. 
We war against enemies who eventually 
cast us into the grave, conquered. Illu- 
sions of victory may be many and strong 
to buoy us up till our allotted time is fin- 
ished. Victory itself is impossible. As 
well expect the bleating lamb to outrun the 
swift-footed wolf, as man to flee the relent- 



less universal reaper in safety. There 
awaits ns all the "one far-off divine event 
to which the whole creation moves,' ' death, 
defeat. In sober moments this conviction 
is uppermost in all men's souls. Art and 
literature bespeak it pathetically and elo- 
quently. Authors as far apart in educa- 
tion and temperament as the writer of the 
"Book of Wisdom,' ' Chrysostom, Turge- 
nieff, Shakespeare, Shirley, Tennyson and 
a thousand others, press it home upon us 
with the passionate conviction peculiar to 
a thought which arises from the human 
heart so spontaneously and irresistibly 
that it must be spoken in hot, eloquent 
words. Life on earth is broken, incom- 
plete. Its complement lies beyond the 
clouds, in Heaven. It is our duty to at- 
tain thereto. This can be done only by re- 
ligion. There should therefore be no 
doubt about the necessity and fitness of 
religious education. Our boys have a 
right to it. Parents and teachers are 
obliged to give it. 

How to do this is a question worthy of 
consideration. The problem, tangled by 


its very nature, is made doubly difficult 
by present-day circumstances. Radical 
democracy is the fashion of the hour. That 
never yet made for faith and God, but only 
for unfaith and gods. Under its spell men 
are not content to see darkly. They must 
see clearly or not at all. They measure 
God by themselves, not themselves by God. 
So their god becomes identified with the 
will of man, an imperfect, sinning thing 
groping towards a perfection which it will 
never reach. 

Consequently the teacher's first task is 
to persuade his pupils that to see darkly 
is the lot of man on earth. Human vision, 
howsoever keen, cannot be the measure of 
the greatness of the Creator. The poor 
flickering light of the human intellect can- 
not illuminate the inscrutable abyss of 
God's majesty. The plummet of the hu- 
man heart is lost in sounding the depths 
of the love and goodness of God. In the 
very nature of things, religion must con- 
tain an element of mystery. It were a 
sham else, a fraud, a lie. This must be 
brought home to boys. Then they must be 


inspired with a holy reverence and awe for 
the infinite, all-holy personal God in whom 
they live and move and are. 

Nothing is too small to be of consequence 
in this matter. Disregard of the small 
leads to contempt of the great. Irrever- 
ence in church or at prayer betokens a di- 
minishing respect for Him who is the Lord 
of church and prayers and all things else. 
The final outcome may be calamitous for 
the soul. Hence no effort should be spared 
to foster in the boy a spirit of intense re- 
spect for all that pertains to God. Church 
services and the teacher's habitual atti- 
tude towards God should all impress the 
youth with the dignity and importance of 

Though reverence for religion may be 
acquired without much knowledge of doc- 
trine, yet it cannot survive for long under 
such a condition. For this and other rea- 
sons the question of proper instruction is 
of utmost importance. This instruction is 
of two kinds, informal and formal. The 
first named can be given at any time and 
in diverse ways. Occasions for it are al- 


ways at hand. Private conversations, apt 
hints, pictures, biographies of holy, zeal- 
ous laymen such as Ozanam and Moreno, 
all lend themselves to it easily and profit- 

Formal instruction presents greater 
difficulties. Boys do not take kindly to 
catechism and sermons. Their attitude to- 
wards them is often that of passive resist- 
ance. Occasionally there is some justifi- 
cation for this disedifying condition. The 
dreariest remembrances of a schoolboy's 
career sometimes centre round the lesson 
in religion and the sermon. Likely as not, 
the former consists of a spiritless, monot- 
onous repetition of questions and answers, 
while the former is often vague and im- 
practicable. Yet the great justification of 
our schools is not Latin or Greek or his- 
tory or mathematics, but religious train- 
ing. It is for this that Catholic fathers 
and mothers make yearly sacrifices which 
are simply stupendous, and it is this above 
all else which should call to the best that 
is in the teacher. His preparation for a 
lesson in religion should be diligent and 


minute; his instruction intelligent, lively, 
varied. Question and answer should play 
their part, but they are not everything. 
They must be vivified, made practical, 
brought into touch with life by story and 
illustration. They are dead things into 
which the teacher must inject a palpitat- 
ing soul that will appeal to imagination, 
intellect and will. Eeligion is also life, 
and life belongs to more than one faculty. 
The student who leaves college with no re- 
ligious training save that implied in a mere 
knowledge of doctrine is in a fair way to 
becoming a devil, the more wicked because 
of his knowledge. Yards of questions and 
answers will not save his soul. Something 
else is required, — an upright life. In that 
lies salvation. The boy must live the doc- 
trine from early youth. This demands an 
atmosphere fit to support and strengthen 
life. A dull page had by rote cannot ac- 
complish such a condition. Monotony 
saps vigor and life itself. There should 
then be variety of method in our teaching. 
Chart and picture and story appeal 
strongly to high-school boys, and are by 


no means scorned by older students. 
These latter profit most of all by intelli- 
gent discussions conducted with as little 
interference as possible from the teacher. 
A topic, such as the infallibility of the 
Pope, can be assigned to a bright student 
for defence. Other members of the class 
should be appointed to search out and 
urge objections. This privilege, however, 
should not be confined exclusively to a se- 
lected few. All should be allowed and 
even urged to enter the lists. Such exer- 
cises, if not too frequent, have a wonder- 
fully stimulating effect, and give to the les- 
son a value hard to acquire from any other 
source. Mature boys also take an interest 
in preparing essays on religious topics to 
be read in the class-room before their fel- 
lows. Success will attend all these meth- 
ods of instruction if the teacher is sym- 
pathetic and helpful, not cynical and fussy. 
Sermons to college boys offer particu- 
lar difficulties. The choice of subjects, the 
manner of presentation, the lessons to be 
drawn, all present their own problems. It 
goes without saying that preparation is 


required for success in this work. Boys 
do not expect eloquence in every man, but 
they do expect clearness of presentation 
and dignity of style. Neither is possible 
without forethought. This is often con- 
spicuously absent. Many a time the text 
from Scripture is the only clear, incisive 
part of the sermon. The rest is " shoes 
and ships and sealing-wax and cabbages 
and kings.' ' Some men, too, preach their 
eccentricities. They forget the Eum opor- 
tet crescere, me autem minui. Their vain- 
glory is too much for them. They pro- 
ject themselves into sacred scenes and 
places in a manner which gives occasion 
for merriment and remarks far from con- 
soling and complimentary. Bad as is the 
vainglorious sermon, there is another still 
worse, the baseball or football sermon. 
No doubt points can be scored by an occa- 
sional prudent use of apt illustrations 
drawn from the campus. But to preach as 
if "Spalding's Guide" were a text-book in 
homiletics is to cheapen religion and de- 
grade a sacred function. The effect on 
the boys is the very opposite of that de- 


sired. Much as they love the field, they 
resent its encroachment on the sanctuary. 
They look for something higher: sermons 
that are short, clear, vigorous, practical, 

But when all has been said, it must be 
granted that sermons, lessons and discus- 
sions will be of little avail unless the boy 
is brought to live the doctrines taught. 
We are saddened at times by lapses of our 
pupils from their early practices. They 
reject the milk and honey of their Father's 
house for the husks that swine do eat. 
They exchange the liberty of the sons of 
God for the bondage of sin. Why? Per- 
haps because their growth in spirit was 
automatic rather than loving and spon- 
taneous. The gong sounded, and they 
went to Mass by force of rule or tradition. 
They bowed and genuflected and sang 
without thought of the significance of their 
acts. Their attendance on the sacraments 
was a function instead of an outgoing of 
the soul to God. Religion was more ex- 
terior than interior, more a thing of sense 
and tradition than of the soul. There was 


much of the wheel and cog about it, and lit- 
tle of life. In the end temptation came and 
stirred the soul deeper than religion. The 
result is better conjectured than described. 
This can be prevented. Both teacher and 
confessor can play a part in averting it. 
The latter can do so by making each con- 
fession tell on the boy's soul in the man- 
ner dictated by experience and theological 
training. The task of the former is a bit 
more difficult. His one hope of success lies 
in making religion part and parcel of the 
life of the boy's soul. This is not easy. 
Boys live by the senses rather than by the 
spirit. Their religion is apt to be a thing 
of sense, the more so that Catholicism ap- 
peals so strongly to the lower faculties. 
Of course this appeal is just what it should 
be. For these faculties are creatures, and 
should be led captive to God. They are 
channels of knowledge, and should be used 
for that purpose. But that religion should 
proceed no further than eye and ear is 
monstrous. Architecture, painting, sculp- 
ture, vestments are symbols of a reality 
which should stir the spirit to its very 


depths. Lights, flowers, incense, music 
should make their ultimate appeal to the 
soul. Do they do so f Not always. The boy 
is not taught to look beyond the symbols. 
He becomes absorbed in them to the neg- 
lect of that which is symbolized. The 
Mass, the great gift of God to men, the 
Mass, at once a sacrament and a sacrifice, 
a history and a pathetic drama with cli- 
max and anti-climax, is but a passing show, 
a brave pageant, without inner meaning. 
There are lights and vestments and chants 
and incense and bows and genuflections, 
all awesome no doubt, but almost mean- 
ingless to the young soul. So too of other 
sublime offices of the ritual. There is no 
just appreciation of their significance, and 
hence no reaction strong enough to induce 
the formation of vigorous habits of virtue. 
The boy's attitude is much like that attrib- 
uted by Plato to those captives in a cave, 
who ascribed all that went on in the world 
above them to the shadows which flitted 
on the walls of their prison. 

Shadows and symbols are everything to 
the lads. They weave therefrom a web of 


romance and mystery, pleasing enough, 
perhaps, but wholly unfit to bridge the 
abyss of life. Bookishness, shallowness, 
formalism of instruction is the cause of 
this. Too much is attempted, too little 
done with life and energy. Christ is not 
made to stand out in all and through all. 
He does not become a living reality. He 
is more mythical than real. He is ob- 
scured in word, and obscured very often 
in devotion. And so the young soul re- 
mains unconscious of the beauty and sub- 
limity of His character, and never becomes 
attracted to Him with a real personal love. 
Herein is the secret of many spiritual dif- 
ficulties of later life. The corrective is 
within the teacher's power. Through the 
grace of God he must impart apt knowl- 
edge to the boys, generate ardent convic- 
tions in their minds, create passionate at- 
tachment to right in their souls. 

Then all will be well with the pupils. 
For everything will speak to them of God. 
Joy and sorrow, success and failure will be 
His messengers, men His image, books His 
mouthpiece, nature His robe. He will 


dwell in the silence of the forest, brood in 
majesty over the rolling sea, rule in the 
raging tempest, whisper in the gentle 
breeze : God everywhere, in all and through 
all. Boys who appreciate this will never 
go far astray. They will realize with Kus- 
kin that "to live is nothing nnless to live 
be to know Him by whom we live. ' ' Then 
in the end they will repeat with convic- 

Plurima qucesivi, per singula quceque 

Nee quidquam inveni melius quam cre- 
dere Christo. 



Present-day society presents a picture 
which is far from exhilarating. Masses 
are in conflict with classes ; morals are bad, 
lawlessness is rife, and, worst of all, many 
good men, in despair of a remedy, have 
become inactive and pessimistic. Yet 
there must be an offset to the evils of the 
times. Strife and discontent are not new 
in the world. The voice of revolution and 
anarchy has been heard before. Virtue 
has been in rags and tatters ere this, and 
vice has paraded in satin and broadcloth. 
Society has been in desperate straits many 
a time. And it has always passed through 
them in safety, albeit weakened and per- 
chance a bit shattered. Sensual, grovel- 
ling Eome died, and the State lived on. 



The frantic era of the Eeformation went 
its way and left society after it. The cold, 
cynical, rationalistic eighteenth century 
disappeared, and the State survived. And 
God's arm is not shorter now than then. 
His intellect has not lost its power, nor 
His will its strength. He is not puzzled 
nor conquered nor intimidated by the ex- 
cesses of men. He is still the God of na- 
tions. The State as well as the individual 
is His creature. Society is His work and 
His care. He can redeem it and sanctify 
it once again. For its redemption and 
sanctification are bound up with the re- 
generation of each individual soul, a result 
easy of attainment through the super- 
abounding merits of the Blessed Savior. 
Pure hearts make a worthy State; and 
pure hearts are not beyond God's power. 
But it is to God, and to Him alone, that 
we must look for relief in the present 
crisis. There is neither remedy for vice 
nor promise of progress save by and 
through the observance of His law. Men 
cannot be dragooned into virtue. The 
bayonet may pierce the heart; it cannot 


reform it. Statutes may promote public 
decency; they cannot furnish props for a 
sin-laden State. Eventually, 

Vis consili expers mole ruit sua. 

Eeligion is the one sure foundation of 
society. Balzac was only half right in as- 
serting that Christianity is the greatest 
element of social order. It is more than 
that. It is the fundamental element. 
Without it all other elements are vain and 
useless. True, the wisdom of the world 
does not reckon with this. But the wisdom 
of the world has failed for many a century ; 
and it were time now to give the folly of 
the Cross some consideration. 

The reform of society, even in the 
sense intended by advanced sociologists, 
pertains primarily to Christianity. La 
morale chretienne n'est pas sociale is an 
outrage on truth and other virtues alike. 
Christ's mission was also sociological in 
the highest and truest sense. There never 
was and never will be a more successful 
social reformer than Our Lord. And this 
for the very reason that sociology and re- 
ligion are inseparable. Sociology without 


religion is a fraud; religion without so- 
ciology is cant. Imagine a sociology with- 
out the works of mercy ! Nothing could be 
more absurd, save perhaps a heaven with- 
out God. And yet these selfsame works 
of mercy are part and parcel of Christ's 
gospel. He taught them and practised 
them. He instructed the ignorant, coun- 
selled the doubtful, admonished sinners, 
comforted the sorrowful, fed the hungry, 
gave drink to the thirsty, clothed the 
naked, visited the sick, cleansed the lep- 
rous, strengthened the palsied, gave sight 
to the blind, speech to the dumb, hearing 
to the deaf. " Jesus went about all the 
cities and towns, teaching in the syna- 
gogues and preaching the Gospel of the 
Kingdom, and healing every disease and 
every infirmity." All these He did, and 
so much store did He set by them that He 
offered them as proofs of His Messiah- 
ship. "Go and relate to John what you 
have heard and seen. The blind see, the 
lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf 
hear, the dead rise again, the poor have 
the Gospel preached to them." 


This is real sociology. Heaven is its 
pith and substance: the works of mercy 
done in the spirit of Christ, for the glory of 
God and the regeneration of the body 
politic. And this kind alone is helpful. 
Other species are debasing to the helper 
and the helped. To teach the young the 
laws of hygiene and external decorum 
without attempting anything further, is to 
labor at the formation of semicultured 
pagans whose very gifts will be a menace 
to the State. There will be outward glow 
and show, and inward rottenness. To dole 
out food to men without inspiring them 
with Christian self-reliance or resignation 
as need may demand, is to generate a race 
of paupers. To pension the poor without 
consideration of the virtue which should 
be peculiar to their condition, is to increase 
an already huge army of impudent and 
ungrateful parasites, who will bleed the 
State to the last drop without generous 
thought of neighbor or of God, the giver 
of all bounty. There is no sociology in 
this, but only sickly sentimentalism, or 
"slumming," the debased and debasing di- 


version of divorcees and powdered dam- 
sels. Mere benevolence, philanthropy, 
will not solve social problems. Nations 
have thought so. Their ashes are a mon- 
ument to their success. 

Philanthropy flourishes exceedingly 
amongst us to-day. It was never more 
conspicuous. Neither were our national 
vices. Charity is needed — the virtue that 
puts Christ, and not the name of the sor- 
did millionaire, into the hearts of the poor 
and unfortunate. It is only through char- 
ity that our modern shibboleth "the fa- 
therhood of Grod and the brotherhood of 
man" has a true meaning. We are chil- 
dren of the Father and brothers of one 
another in and by and through Christ. 
We remain such by imitating Him. Christ 
is charity, not philanthropy. 

This is the mind and spirit of the 
Church. Such the ideal to which she has 
been so true that even her arch enemies 
admire her for this feature of her life. 
Guizot, in contemplating this characteris- 
tic, was forced to admit that she has played 
a grand part in the history of civilization. 


She emerged from the catacombs torn and 
bleeding, to begin her open life in a society- 
composed of an army of slaves, lustful 
freemen, dames whose names were a hiss- 
ing and a byword, and a few harmless ora- 
tors. The State was rotten to its very 
nerves and fibres, heartless as a tiger, 
tyrannous as a demon. And yet in the 
face of all this the Church found a way to 
inaugurate sociological works which com- 
pel universal admiration. The sick, the 
maimed, the orphan were gathered into 
hospitals and homes, and treated with ten- 
derness as brothers of Christ. A special 
Order was instituted for the care of the 
poor. The Master's mantle covered many 
shoulders and warmed many hearts to he- 
roic deeds of love. There were many men 
like Laurence, who, under orders to sur- 
render the treasures of the Church to the 
State, presented to the Roman officials a 
multitude of maimed and miserable peo- 
ple. And this spirit lived in the mission- 
ers who, century after century, stalked 
forest and jungle in search of men to whom 
they might impart both religion and the 


useful arts and sciences. The greatest 
body of sociologists who ever lived were 
the Benedictines. They set a standard 
which has never been surpassed and is but 
poorly imitated. One-third of the French 
towns owed their origin to these monks. 
Their monasteries rose in trackless for- 
ests, and became schools for the children, 
hospitals for the sick, almshouses for the 
poor and inns for the weary travellers. 
Therein the arts of peace flourished for 
long ages, enriching the world with mas- 
terpieces which adorn many a modern mu- 
seum. Under the care of these men wild 
souls were tamed, rough manners became 
gentle, sleeping intellects awoke, clumsy 
hands grew skilful. Life took on new val- 
ues. The nomad tribe became a civilized 
society with Christ as Guide and Master. 
True sociology scored a victory. It would 
score another, were it brought into play. 
For the Church can meet every need. She 
has a remedy for every ill. Her divine 
Founder foresaw all, and provided in ac- 
cordance with His prevision. 
And never was there greater necessity 


of the Church's doctrines and practices. 
Unreasonable individualism, the Gallic 
Egalitairism in which the French Kevolu- 
tion focused, has done a sad work. Its in- 
fluence is felt in religious, social and eco- 
nomic spheres. Men are living for them- 
selves. They will not subordinate one 
tithe of their ambitions to the general good. 
Charity is crushed. Philanthropy, in 
many cases at least, is a personal gratifi- 
cation of vainglory. The union and fra- 
ternity without which the State cannot ex- 
ist is growing less and less. Authority is 
disrespected. Laws are framed for 
classes, and violated both by classes and 
masses. The insolent rich have become 
irresponsible and the poor truculent. 
Fraud and lust are gnawing at the vitals 
of the State. Plato was wont to represent 
society as an organism in which individ- 
uals are the organs. How long can such 
an organism subsist, head at war with 
hands, neck at war with shoulders, heart 
at war with lungs 1 The application is ap- 

Conditions would be far different were 


Catholic doctrines followed. Individual 
and class interests would be subordinated 
to the common good. Authority would be 
considered God-given, not man-made. 
Laws would take on new sanctions. The 
rich would learn that they are but stewards 
of wealth, responsible to God for its use 
and abuse. The poor would be taught the 
nobility of labor and patience under trial. 
They would seek relief through legitimate 
means, understanding that it were better 
to suffer an ill than to sin in righting it. 
Christ would be reproduced in souls. And 
that is the one thing needed. More of 
Christ, and less of shower-baths and ath- 
letic meets and stereopticon lectures, would 
do a deal to straighten out tangled condi- 

Catholic educators should be the fore- 
most in effecting this. Times and condi- 
tions have changed. Methods must change 
with them. Formerly the priest was the 
sole agent of the work. He cannot be 
so any longer. A wave of radicalism 
has alienated many from him. Our cities 
are teeming with aliens, ignorant of our 


language, shy of our religious customs, 
strangers in a strange land, whom priests 
cannot reach, but whom wolves in sheep's 
clothing do reach. The layman must go 
down amongst these waifs and bring Christ 
unto them. 

But laymen will not do so unless they 
are brought to an early realization of their 
powers and responsibilities in this mat- 
ter. For obvious reasons, this is the work 
of Catholic instructors, a work sadly neg- 
lected. In one of our large cities, less 
than five per cent, of the active members 
of the St. Vincent de Paul Society are col- 
lege men, and less than fifteen per cent, 
of the workers in the Ozanam Society had 
the advantages of academic training. 
Hard-working clerks and salesmen are the 
principal laborers in these guilds. They 
are the Christophers, while the college men 
of large opportunities, and hence of 
greater responsibilities, hold aloof from 
the holy work almost entirely. There is no 
excuse for this, and there is but one satis- 
factory explanation for it: the apathy of 


Catholic teachers. Boys pass through col- 
lege unaware of the ignorance and help- 
lessness to which so many splendid fellows 
are condemned through no fault of their 
own. How can our students desire to help 
others, if they never realize the needs of 
others f How can they he expected to ex- 
tend active charity to others, if they are 
neither taught their obligations nor in- 
spired with a desire to fulfil them? 

Men argue that it is impossible to inter- 
est American boys in such matters. This 
is not true. Secular universities have in- 
terested their students in them. More- 
over, our boys do not fall short of Span- 
ish, Belgian, German or English boys in 
idealism and enthusiasm for good. They 
do fall far short of them in practical works 
of charity. Teachers may look for the 
reason in their own conduct, not in the 
slackness of their pupils. This is all the 
more unfortunate in view of the ever-in- 
creasing need of Catholic lay workers 
among poor boys. Fine but untrained 
boys, with good religious instincts, are 


neglected at the critical period of their 
lives, only to become the prey of Socialists 
arid Anarchists. 

The harvest is white, but too large for 
the number of laborers. The remedy for 
this deficiency is not far to seek. Simple, 
definite instructions and sympathetic talks 
to young students, a rational course in so- 
ciology for older boys, would accomplish 
much. Senior students would profit too 
by intercourse with social workers; by 
well-directed participation in the activi- 
ties of the Ozanam Society; by attendance 
at meetings in which social needs and cor- 
rective ways and means are discussed; by 
reading the literature of the St. Vincent de 
Paul Society and the Eunomic Club. 

All this can be brought about by Cath- 
olic teachers. They can plant a seed 
which will sprout and grow, and blossom 
and bear fruit in the later life of their stu- 
dents. To this they are obliged. They 
are their brother's keeper. In the end 
their stewardship will be scrutinized and 
appraised. And Christ has said: "De- 
part from me, . . . for I was hungry, and 


you gave me not to eat : I was thirsty, and 
you gave me not to drink : I was a stranger, 
and you took me not in: naked, and you 
covered me not: sick, and in prison, and 
you did not visit me." Truly, a terrible 
sanction on neglect of social duties. But 
who neglects these more than the teacher 
careless of his obligations in this regard? 



Meet of affairs are at present vigorously 
debating the question of the practical value 
of college education in business. Their 
opinions are various and often directly con- 
tradictory. The self-made man sees no ad- 
vantage in higher education. He has suc- 
ceeded without it. Therefore, it cannot 
be of any use. On the contrary, likely as 
not, it will prove a hindrance to progress. 
It converts men into idealists, makes them 
unpractical, and thus renders them unfit 
to grapple with the ever-changing prob- 
lems of these strenuous times. These 
statements are generally followed by an 
array of statistics quoted with an air of 
supreme confidence. The confidence, how- 
ever, is not born of the arguments. They 
scarcely call for analysis or refutation. 



Even the blear-eyed can look through them 
without great effort. Yet since it is al- 
ways interesting to observe how a man 
hoists himself with his own petard, a word 
of retort may not be entirely vain. Money, 
influence, dignity, constitute the self-made 
man's norm of success. Be it so. Noth- 
ing could serve our purpose better, nor his 
worse. Computation based on the study 
of fifteen thousand " successful' ' careers 
shows that men with, academic training 
have two hundred and fifty chances of suc- 
cess against the one poor chance of persons 
who are not college-bred. Even though 
observation be confined to the narrow lim- 
its of the purely industrial and commercial 
field, yet the college man loses nothing in 
comparison with his companions who have 
not had the advantage of higher education. 
One in every six of the sometime students 
of New York institutions who have become 
eminent, attained their success in business. 
In this sphere the college man has forty 
chances of success against the one chance 
of non-college men. 

So much for statistics and the inferences 


drawn from them. No doubt both one and 
the other are partial, and to some extent 
misleading. Bnt they are the self-made 
man's stock in trade. They are his weap- 
ons of attack. Under compulsion, they be- 
come our instruments of defence. Condi- 
tions render a poor boomerang more ef- 
fectual than a Mauser. 

But apart from all this, it is clear that 
college training by its very nature fits man 
the better for the battle of life. More- 
over, life is more than bread and meat. 
The soul and its gifts count for something. 
Hence, so does culture of the spirit. This 
is obvious enough to make argument un- 
necessary. We could wish, however, that 
the fact were driven into the hearts of 
Catholics so hard and fast that they would 
be forced to pay more attention to col- 
legiate education. Nineteen per cent, of 
all students of higher education in the en- 
tire United States are found in the Col- 
leges of New York, and yet the number of 
Catholics in this throng is relatively small. 
Each year two thousand boys are gradu- 
ated from the parochial schools of one New 


York diocese alone, and of these likely 
chaps only a very small proportion enter 
high schools. Probably the dismissal pic- 
ture is equally true of Catholic youths who 
attend the city schools. 

The consequences are not pleasant to 
contemplate. In the main, our men of the 
next generation will be hewers of wood and 
drawers of water — distinctly inferior to 
those about them, intellectually and in all 
other ways save morally. Yet an unused 
remedy lies at hand. But, as we said, dis- 
cussion of this is not our main purpose. 
Eather we wish to give attention to the sec- 
ular careers of those who actually frequent 
our colleges. 

Many of these boys need advice and 
other assistance in order to start well in 
life. As a rule, they get neither. Through 
lack of interest and proper organization 
the alumni societies are of little help. In 
most places alumni and students are sep- 
arated by a gap almost as broad and deep 
and formidable as that which separated 
Dives from Father Abraham. There is a 
dinner once a year, at which graduates are 


inducted into the society. They come into 
personal contact with the old men for the 
first time, and only for a moment. Ac- 
quaintance is most casual. At the dinner 
the president of the society announces that 
a committee of the alumni will sit in the 
parlor to offer advice to the young men. 
As is clear, the capacity of the parlor is 
overtaxed by the number of youths who 
are anxious to consult these all but total 
strangers about a profession. Comment 
is unnecessary. 

Teachers are often of as little help. 
Their duties and manner of life keep them 
out of touch with doctors' offices and law 
courts and markets. They have, then, no 
information to give. In view of this, per- 
haps they may find a few items helpful and 
even interesting. It is significant of the 
condition of professions like law and medi- 
cine that the drift of graduates is almost 
altogether away from them. A century 
ago law attracted more men than any other 
profession save the ministry. Times have 
changed and choice of professions has 
changed with them. A recently compiled 


list of graduates of twenty-seven repre- 
sentative and widely distributed colleges 
reveals the fact that teaching claims 
twenty-five per cent, of the younger grad- 
uates, business twenty per cent., law fif- 
teen per cent, and medicine six per cent. 
This drift is most natural. Law and medi- 
cine have fallen in popular estimation. 
Moreover, despite the decrease in the num- 
ber of educated men who follow them, they 
are both overcrowded. Hordes of in- 
ferior, untrained, unscrupulous youths 
have pushed themselves into these profes- 
sions, with sad effect on the morale of both. 
This is especially true of law. Our large 
cities are stocked with lawyers who live by 
their wits, not unfrequently off widows or 
other unsuspecting women. Criminal law 
is becoming positively odious. Self-re- 
specting men, who must earn their bread 
and butter, had better think twice before 
casting in their lot with it. Then too, be- 
sides the unworthy lawyers, there are oth- 
ers, honest fellows, whose fees from draw- 
ing wills and collecting evidence scarcely 
equal the salary of well-paid clerks. In 


one city of less than two hundred thousand 
inhabitants there is an over-supply of one 
thousand five hundred lawyers. 

Of course, there is always room for a 
man of talent, energy and character. But 
not every college man is such. Some lack 
one or other quality. Others lack all 
three. Advisers should take this into con- 
sideration. Moreover, they should giv.e 
thought to the particular branch of law for 
which a boy is best fitted. A youth with 
absolutely no scientific instinct is not apt 
to meet with success at patent law. He 
may succeed, however, by making a spe- 
cialty of real estate. This offers a double 
chance for an honest competence; one 
through the practice entailed, the other by 
throwing open legitimate avenues of spec- 
ulation closed to many who are unaware of 
the opportunities. 

Bright young lawyers often fail to make 
progress because they are not put suffi- 
ciently upon their mettle. They should en- 
ter new and uncrowded fields as strangers 
determined to succeed. The writer has in 
mind seven young men who owe their sue- 


cess more to the fortunate choice of place 
than to talent. Acting under advice, they 
set themselves down in growing western 
cities with the happiest results. 

Applied science offers numerous oppor- 
tunities for college men. Electrical sys- 
tems of various kinds must be managed, 
bridges must be built, sewage disposed of, 
roads constructed, streets opened and 
graded, and so forth. Hence there is con- 
stant demand for electrical, sewage, me- 
chanical and civil engineers. Some find 
employment in the engineering depart- 
ments of our cities, others get places on the 
staffs of great companies. Then too, 
wholesale groceries, sugar refineries, mills 
and the chemical departments of city hos- 
pitals all need chemists. And so on 
through a long list of opportunities af- 
forded by applied science. Why not turn 
the attention of our boys this way ? There 
is room for the college graduate. Only 
three per cent, of this generation of gradu- 
ates take up engineering. 

Despite pessimistic reports, there are 
also chances in business for the right kind 


of a boy. The great telephone companies 
employ numbers of youths in positions 
which are entirely honorable and lucrative 
for beginners. Each year the Standard 
Oil Company seeks college men for work 
in Asia. Salaries are high, and chances 
of advancement are fair. Other large 
companies are only too glad to place col- 
lege men amongst their employes. Busi- 
ness is expanding enormously, especially 
along certain lines, and needs trained in- 
tellects more than ever. For instance, 
some fifteen years ago a motor vehicle was 
a novel sight in the United States. Now 
there are one million such vehicles in use. 
The factories turned out $400,000,000 
worth of automobiles of various kinds dur- 
ing the year 1913. The promises for 1914 
are equally fair. According to one esti- 
mate 600,000 cars will be manufactured. 
There is almost as much activity in other 
branches of business. The real estate 
market and contracting, for example, are 
continually assuming larger proportions. 
College men should share in this general 
prosperity. To do so, however, they 


should be willing to begin humbly and 
climb high by merit. This is the only sen- 
sible process. Meteoric careers are apt 
to be brief. The right precedent has been 
set by men like the late manager of the 
Pennsylvania Eailroad, who, after com- 
pleting his technical education, began life 
as a rodman. Educated youths might 
study such a career with profit. 

Many young men are deterred from en- 
tering business by fear of a penniless old 
age. They dread the prospect of giving 
their best years to a company which will 
throw them aside after their usefulness 
begins to diminish. This objection, once 
very real, is gradually losing its force. A 
good number of reputable companies have 
already established generous pension 
funds. Others are contemplating a like 
step. Thus the United States Steel Cor- 
poration, the American Telephone Co., the 
Armour Co., the Morris Co., the Westing- 
house Air-Brake Co., the Wells Fargo Co., 
the Adams Express Co., the Gorham Man- 
ufacturing Co., the American Sugar Ee- 
fining Co., and the International Harvester 


Co. all have funds. Some of these funds 
are really huge, and the conditions under 
which employes may profit by them are not 

Besides all the ways enumerated, there 
are many other honorable means of liveli- 
hood. Most of them are so well known 
that it is unnecessary to dwell upon them. 
Teaching, the army and navy, government 
service at home and in the colonies, all af- 
ford dignified, though not enormously 
lucrative ways of making a living. 

The whole crux of this question is not so 
much lack of opportunities as want of men 
charitable enough to take an interest in 
struggling boys. Alumni societies can 
easily remedy this. Let them be assured 
that it is a great charity both to assist 
young graduates by advice and to exert 
influence that the boys may begin their ca- 
reers auspiciously. Bread cast upon the 
water is returned twofold. 


Happiness and unhappiness, success 
and failure, salvation and damnation, are 
so intimately connected with the choice of 
a state of life, that all who are interested 
in boys should give the subject serious con- 
sideration. Boys must face the future. 
They must choose a vocation. A happy 
choice is an earnest of a happy, useful 
life. An unhappy choice is the prelude 
of an unhappy, useless life. 

Though this is universally true, yet it 
has special reference to the priesthood. 
The unworthy priest is at once the most 
pitiable and wretched of men. The giant 
of the forest, towering high above its fel- 
lows in the full vigor of a more bounteous 
life, is suddenly struck by a ruthless bolt, 
and thereafter stands among its kindred 



one city of less than two hundred thousand 
inhabitants there is an over-supply of one 
thousand five hundred lawyers. 

Of course, there is always room for a 
man of talent, energy and character. But 
not every college man is such. Some lack 
one or other quality. Others lack all 
three. Advisers should take this into con- 
sideration. Moreover, they should giv.e 
thought to the particular branch of law for 
which a boy is best fitted. A youth with 
absolutely no scientific instinct is not apt 
to meet with success at patent law. He 
may succeed, however, by making a spe- 
cialty of real estate. This offers a double 
chance for an honest competence; one 
through the practice entailed, the other by 
throwing open legitimate avenues of spec- 
ulation closed to many who are unaware of 
the opportunities. 

Bright young lawyers often fail to make 
progress because they are not put suffi- 
ciently upon their mettle. They should en- 
ter new and uncrowded fields as strangers 
determined to succeed. The writer has in 
mind seven young men who owe their sue- 


cess more to the fortunate choice of place 
than to talent. Acting under advice, they 
set themselves down in growing western 
cities with the happiest results. 

Applied science offers numerous oppor- 
tunities for college men. Electrical sys- 
tems of various kinds must be managed, 
bridges must be built, sewage disposed of, 
roads constructed, streets opened and 
graded, and so forth. Hence there is con- 
stant demand for electrical, sewage, me- 
chanical and civil engineers. Some find 
employment in the engineering depart- 
ments of our cities, others get places on the 
staffs of great companies. Then too, 
wholesale groceries, sugar refineries, mills 
and the chemical departments of city hos- 
pitals all need chemists. And so on 
through a long list of opportunities af- 
forded by applied science. Why not turn 
the attention of our boys this way? There 
is room for the college graduate. Only 
three per cent, of this generation of gradu- 
ates take up engineering. 

Despite pessimistic reports, there are 
also chances in business for the right kind 


tity, — nothing save the call constitutes a 
claim to it. Ordinarily, this call is vouch- 
safed to persons who possess certain well- 
defined gifts, natural and supernatural. 
The doctors of the Church are in substan- 
tial agreement on this point. In fact, the 
trivial divergences of opinion which are 
sometimes noted are verbal rather than 
real. St. Alphonsus groups these gifts 
under three categories, St. Thomas under 
two. But the two categories of the latter 
include the three of the former. And ulti- 
mately both doctors make it clear that 
learning, sanctity and an upright intention 
are requisite in candidates for the priest- 

But to what extent should these charac- 
teristics exist in boys who contemplate the 
priestly life? For surely, as much cannot 
be expected of them as of seminarians who 
are about to receive major orders. Quite 
true. And it is just here that teachers 
make mistakes. They refuse encourage- 
ment to those who do not measure up to 
the very highest standards. They err in 
expecting too much of striplings. Heroic 


virtue and great knowledge are slow 
growths. An Aloysins seldom graces the 
world by his presence, and Aquins do not 
strut about in knickerbockers. Something 
should be left to the seminaries and 
scholasticates. It is theirs to impart 
priestly virtues and priestly knowledge. 
Ordinary Christian virtues, such as purity, 
the habit of prayer, patience and docility, 
coupled with mediocrity in studies, should 
be sufficient to commend a boy to the zeal- 
ous attention of his master. Most of these 
virtues and their opposite vices call for no 
discussion. They can be passed over in 
silence without fear that their nature or 
importance will be misunderstood. 

This is not true, however, of other quali- 
ties of soul. To our mind there are traits 
of character often overlooked, which jus- 
tify a teacher in refusing to promote a 
boy's ambition for the priesthood. 
Amongst these are ingrained selfishness, 
habitual untruthfulness which often ap- 
pears instinctive rather than rational, a 
sad lack of judgment, and a grotesque, 
clownish instability. In defects such as 


these, the child is invariably father to the 
man. And when the man is a priest, the 
result is shameful and harrowing. The 
Church blushes at her minister's defects 
and weeps in impotency over the harm 
wrought by them. 

Yet these faults show themselves incor- 
rigible early in life. They are woven into 
the warp and woof of the soul and cannot 
be torn out. There are boys so selfish that 
sacrifice or even consideration for others 
seems quite incomprehensible to them. 
Their thoughts and words and deeds are 
for self and self's interests. Their priest- 
hood will be for self and self's interests. 
Souls will be of minor importance. 

What can be expected of the young man 
whose heart is filled with dark angles? 
Gratuitous lies come to his lips as natu- 
rally as warts to a toad's back. He acts 
as if he had a mission to deceive as many 
as possible before death overtakes him. 
Nothing save a grace which would all but 
deprive him of his liberty will cure him of 
this. Such a grace is apparently rare. 

And the bungler. He goes bungling to 


the grave. He is as tactless and impru- 
dent at sixty as he was at twenty. His 
taste is execrable. His judgment is 
warped. He cannot learn by mistakes. 
He burns his hands at the same fire, in the 
same way, twice a month. Wholesome ad- 
vice and honest criticism convince him that 
his work is superlatively good; otherwise 
it would not attract notice. He is right 
and all others are wrong. The priesthood 
will lose more than it will gain from such 
a man. The office of confessor, for in- 
stance, is too sacred and responsible for 
his kind. And there is no remedy. The 
defect is radical, a kink in the intellect 
which cannot be ironed out. 

Nor are we more hopeful of the boy who 
veers with every breeze, dances with every 
piping and laments with every mourning. 
He is a hale-fellow-well-met. He adapts 
himself to moods and opinions and actions 
and atmospheres readily and recklessly, 
with no apparent concern. As he grows 
into manhood he cultivates the graces of 
conversation, learns to sing a bit, and be- 
hold ! develops an apostolic vocation. Let 


the family fireside be his missionary field. 
A grandfather's chair will make a more 
excellent pulpit for him. 

So much for the qualities undesirable in 
those who look forward to the clerical 
state. But what is the teacher's duty in 
so important an affair? To our mind his 
work is both creative and directive. 

Many theologians hold that the priestly 
vocation formally consists in a special in- 
ternal charisma, an extraordinary grace 
by which God sets a man aside for the 
priestly life. Over and above virtue, 
learning and a pure intention, they demand 
this special grace which destines a man 
for the office. This opinion is entitled to 
the highest respect. No doubt God often 
calls persons in the aforesaid way. Little 
children on whom no external influence has 
been brought to bear, evince an altogether 
supernatural desire for the holy state. 
And this desire grows with years, despite 
the most untoward conditions. The Holy 
Spirit is breathing in a special way over 
the face of the soul. Who dares gainsay 
it? But is this always the case? We do 


not think so. In fact there is evidence to 
the contrary. Moreover, a recent decision 
of a special commission of Cardinals ap- 
pointed by His Holiness to settle a con- 
troversy bearing on this very topic, ex- 
pressly says "Conditionem, qnae ex parte 
ordinandi debet attendi, quaeqne vocatio 
sacerdotalis appellatnr, nequaquam consis- 
tere, saltern necessario et de lege ordina- 
ria, in interna qnadam adspiratione subjec- 
ti, seu incitamentis Spiritns Sancti, ad sa- 
cerdotium ineundum. Sed e contra, nihil 
plus in ordinando, ut rite vocetnr ab epis- 
copo, reqniri quam rectam intentionem 
simnl cnm idoneitate in iis gratiae et na- 
turae dotibus reposita, et per earn vitae 
probitatem ac doctrinae sufficientiam com- 
probata, quae spem fundatam facient fore 
ut sacerdotii munera recte obire ejus- 
demque obligationes sancte servare queat: 
esse egregie laudandam. ' ' At its very 
mildest, this denies that a vocation to the 
priesthood necessarily or even ordinarily 
supposes a special extraordinary charisma. 
Virtue and ability there must be, but no 
special extraordinary internal grace 


prompting a man to assume the priestly 
office and dignity. A vocation, then, can be 
acquired. By God's help a man can grow 
fit for the call. He can get the requisite 
knowledge and virtue. He can acquire the 
generosity and strength of will necessary 
for the office and life. He can even con- 
ceive a very active, strong, loving desire 
for both, much in the same way that he can 
conceive any other supernatural desire. 

Hence, as we have said, a teacher's work 
can be both creative and directive. Cre- 
ative, in that by his life and labors he can 
become an instrument in God's hands both 
for adorning a boy's soul with the req- 
uisite intellectual and moral gifts and for 
inspiring him with the high ambition of 
consecrating his life to heaven. Directive, 
in that by advice and encouragement he can 
guide the lad safely to the seminary or 
scholasticate. Prudence is required for 
all this. No undue influence should be ex- 
ercised. There should be no cajoling, no 
nagging. Both are unjust intrusions on 
a boy's liberty. The result will be either 
scorn on the lad's part, or an imaginary 


desire for better things, which will disap- 
pear under the first stiff trial. 

On the other hand, the teacher should 
do his best to inspire the boys with holy 
ambition. He should light in their hearts 
the fire of zeal for great causes and keep 
it all aglow. This is not only legitimate. 
It is a duty. For all men should realize 
that God expects them to go down to the 
grave leaving the world better and sweeter 
for their presence. Boyhood, not the 
evening of life, is the proper time for such 
a realization. And the master is an agent 
for its consummation. This may be ac- 
complished by word, by an apt selection 
of books for the boys ' library, and, best of 
all, by example. Teachers live in an at- 
mosphere of their own creation. This at- 
mosphere is a reflex of the condition of 
their souls. By it boys are influenced for 
good or evil. They feel its effects, and 
judge from them the worth of the cause 
to which we have consecrated our lives. 
They cannot analyze, they cannot prove, 
but they can and do feel. They feel our 
frivolity, our neglect, our petty cares, our 


childish dissatisfaction, our moroseness. 
That which is in the soul is radiated by the 
soul and affects others according to its na- 
ture. Good example, then, is a prime fac- 
tor in this great apostolate. The master's 
self-sacrifice, singleness of purpose, pa- 
tience, in short, his Christian heroism will 
turn the souls of his pupils to high ideals 
and holy aspirations. The priesthood is 
rather a natural sequence. 

But holy desires and aspirations are not 
always lasting. In fact they are so easily 
lost that their preservation demands con- 
stant care and watchfulness. The teacher 
should exercise both in an easy, natural 
way. In boys, worldliness and temptation 
to sin make their first and strongest ap- 
peal to the imagination. Companions, 
books and theatres often combine to lead 
this faculty captive. Once caught, the 
havoc is great. Prayer and attendance on 
the sacraments help to offset the evil in- 
fluence of these three. So too do many 
natural agents, vigorous play for instance, 
attractive books of travel, biography, his- 
tory and fiction. And every teacher knows 


how to induce boys to make use of all these 
instruments of profit. 

Other directive agencies will be sug- 
gested by circumstances of time, place and 
persons. The teacher should use all to 
further so good a cause. And in the end 
his cup of joy will be well-nigh filled. An- 
other of his boys will go forth to the su- 
pernal vocation in Christ Jesus, a shep- 
herd of the lambs of God. 


Teacheks are often at a loss to know 
how to deal with boys who apply to them 
for advice concerning a vocation to the 
religions life. Trne the office of counsel- 
lor in such an affair pertains primarily 
to the confessor. However the master, es- 
pecially if he be a priest, cannot always 
refuse assistance to an earnest enquirer. 
For this reason it is well for each teacher 
to have in mind some simple principles to 
which he can call for guidance in time of 

Vocations to the religious life, like vo- 
cations to the priesthood, are of two kinds, 
internal and external. The former, which 
is by far the less common of the two, is 
a sign of God's special predilection for a 
soul. It consists of an extraordinary in- 



terior grace by which a person is urged 
one way or other, to choose the better part. 
Sometimes this urging is exercised through 
the medium of great sensible devotion, 
which would find an outlet for itself in the 
mode of life and work of a particular order 
or congregation. In such cases signs of 
the vocation are so marked as to be quite 
unmistakable. The boy involved contem- 
plates with joy the sacrifices demanded. 
Everything seems easy and pleasant to 
him. He has looked forward for years to 
the consummation of his desire. He is im- 
patient to begin the life. His interests are 
altogether centred in it. Each delay in 
the execution of his cherished wish causes 
disappointment and even keen regret. 
The finger of God is surely here. The vo- 
cation is clear. Teachers need have no 
misgivings about any encouragement 
which they may choose to give in such a 

But there are times when special voca- 
tions are manifested in an entirely differ- 
ent way. Often there is a strong and al- 
most overpowering sensible repugnance to 


the manner of life indicated by the call. 
The very thought of a surrender of the 
will by a vow puts the soul in a state of 
darkness and turmoil and irrational re- 
sistance as if to some hostile, invisible 
force. Eesolutions against surrender are 
frequent and forceful. Yet beneath all 
this there is a conviction that duty, hard, 
dry and repulsive, requires the much- 
feared sacrifice. No amount of quiet rea- 
soning lessens this conviction in any way. 
Moreover it is most importunate. Like 
Banquo's Ghost, it will not down. It is 
present to the mind the last moment at 
night and the first instant of the morning. 
It appears and reappears at frequent in- 
tervals during the day, even in the midst 
of distraction and gaiety. And its effect 
is always the same, disgust and resistance. 
Finally a sense of duty, unaided in any 
way by love, becomes too strong fo| op- 
position. The soul surrenders to God, 
despite pain and disgust, and travail that 
are indescribable. There has been a real 
internal vocation from the beginning, the 
stronger and the better by reason of the 


struggle which it occasioned. Those who 
are called upon for counsel in cases of this 
kind should act slowly and cautiously. A 
little direction given now and then is far 
better than a hasty decision which sends 
a worried and disgusted chap off to a 
novitiate half against his will. He is in 
no mood to accept rigorous principles and 
strict discipline. And the outcome may be 
false appraisement on the part of supe- 
riors and a hasty exit on the part of the can- 
didate. Had the young man been allowed 
to fight his own battle and come to a more 
independent conclusion, the result would 
have been different. His convictions would 
have been on the side of duty and, though 
his soul might have been sad, yet it would 
not have been truculent. It had scored a 
victory and thereby made itself ready for 
new and more difficult conquests. 

This vocation of which we have been 
speaking, is uncommon enough. But 
there is a second kind, — the external, — 
which is far more common than is generally 
supposed. In nature it is quite different 
from the internal call. It is not a special, 


interior grace. The call comes entirely 
from without, sometimes through the in- 
strumentality of scripture, sometimes 
through a sermon or an accident or sorrow 
or such like agencies. Though this call 
may be more insistent in some cases than 
in others, yet it is universal. It is an in- 
vitation extended to all to follow on close 
after our Lord. It is a privilege by which 
men are allowed to come nigh to Christ 
and live in His immediate presence. "If 
thou wilt be perfect go sell what thou hast 
and give to the poor and thou shalt have 
treasure in Heaven and come follow me." 
The lives of the saints furnish many strik- 
ing examples of this vocation. Thus was 
Ignatius called and Xavier and Francis 
Borgia and a host of others. 

All this appears so simple and natural, 
that it may be necessary to insist that even 
this kind of call demands definite prerequi- 
sites. Though universal, it is conditional. 
It is an invitation. And the acceptance of 
an invitation depends largely on the cir- 
cumstances in which the recipient finds 
himself. An evening reception is about to 


be given to a distinguished person. Invi- 
tations are sent broadcast. The host 
would be delighted to welcome to his home 
all who have been bidden to attend the func- 
tion. Greetings will be cordial, hospi- 
tality lavish. Not all however will attend. 
Some are unwilling to submit to the eti- 
quette demanded by the occasion. They 
refuse to accept the conditions imposed by 
the very nature of the reception. Others 
again are delicate and fear to expose them- 
selves to the night air. They remain at 
home. In short all receive a perfectly 
genuine and sincere invitation. Many 
however either do not or cannot accept it, 
on account of purely subjective circum- 
stances. Mutatis mutandis, this applies to 
the general invitation by which our Lord 
bids men enter upon the way of the higher 
life. "A certain man made a great sup- 
per, and invited many. And he sent his 
servant at the hour of the supper to say to 
them that were invited, that they should 
come, for now all things are ready. And 
they began all at once to make excuse. The 
first said to him : I have bought a farm and 


I must needs go out and see it : I pray thee, 
hold me excused. And another said: I 
have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to 
try them; I pray thee, hold me excused. 
And another said: I have married a wife, 
and therefore I cannot come." — Herein is a 
type both of the call and the difficulties 
which men experience concerning it. This 
vocation then presupposes certain condi- 
tions. These can be summed in one word, 
fitness. Now fitness supposes the presence 
of certain intellectual and moral qualities 
and the absence of all obligations inconsis- 
tent with the religious state. As is clear, 
the aforesaid qualities may vary greatly. 
For instance, not all Orders and Congre- 
gations require the same ability in candi- 
dates. Some demand intellectual powers 
well above the ordinary; others are quite 
content with mediocre talents. Then too, 
minor moral traits which may prove an ob- 
stacle to happiness in one Order may not 
be a hindrance to success and contentment 
in another. This is most natural. The 
specific aim and work of various institutes 
differ widely. The aim of one requires 


perpetual study: the work of another ne- 
cessitates travel, freedom, a large measure 
of self reliance and individuality. The 
scope of a third is inconsistent with all 
these. Its work which may be of a simple 
kind, is carried on almost exclusively 
within an enclosure, under constant super- 
vision and stimulus. Just as aim and work 
vary so too do rules. The rules reflect the 
spirit. The spirit is expressed in the work 
and the manner in which the work is ac- 
complished. Thus the rules of one Insti- 
tute are extremely strict in regard to pov- 
erty, those of another, in respect to obedi- 
ence. This order accomplishes its end by 
moving en masse, individual action sub- 
ordinated to the action of the whole body: 
that congregation insists on individuality 
and self assertion. The rules reflect all 
this. As a consequence, the qualities re- 
quired in candidates for different Orders 
or Congregations vary in accidentals 
at least. The boy who could not abide 
a Trappist's life might become an 
excellent Dominican or Franciscan. And 
on the other hand, a lad who would make a 


poor Dominican or Franciscan might find 
a fit place amongst the Trappists. In other 
words, failure to meet the requirements of 
one institute does not imply unfitness for 
all modes of the religious life. Teachers 
should bear all this in mind and direct the 
boy with great singleness of purpose in a 
way that will subserve the glory of God 
and the boy's greater good. For after all 
Christ and His glory is our aim; not the 
aggrandizement of any particular body of 
men. "We should rejoice exceedingly to be 
able to direct suitable candidates to any ap- 
proved Order or Congregation which is 
working well in God's vineyard. This is 
especially true of those holy, venerable or- 
ders which have adorned the church by 
sanctity and learning and profited the 
world beyond measure by fruitful labors. 
True zeal is not exclusive. Neither is it 
blind. It should therefore be regulated by 
prudence. The teacher's manner and 
method should all be above reproach. 
There is scarcely need of any delay on this 
last topic. The words written about it in 
"The Boy and the Priesthood" are quite 


apropos in respect to the religious life ; and 
the qualities which are there set down as 
necessary for candidature for the priest- 
hood are in the main necessary for admis- 
sion into an order whose members become 
priests or teachers. 

Before closing however it might be well 
to say a word or two on the obligation of 
hearkening to the call and taking upon 
one's self the yoke which the Lord holds 
ready. Is there any obligation of obeying 
the call to the religious life? Some theo- 
logians assert that there is a grave obliga- 
tion of following the special vocation. In 
other words they teach that a person can- 
not repudiate the interior, extraordinary 
grace which constitutes the special voca- 
tion without serious sin and grave danger 
to eternal salvation. This doctrine ap- 
pears too rigorous. Proof of serious sin 
is lacking and though acceptance of the in- 
vitation may render salvation relatively 
easy, yet it is not at all clear that rejection 
of the call entails grave danger to eternal 
happiness. True, both sin and danger of 
damnation may be incurred in special cases, 


for special reasons. An instance in point 
is found in the life of Blessed Margaret 
Mary. But such cases are exceptional and 
cannot be covered by a general law or state- 

If the vocation is of the second kind, ex- 
ternal and universal, there is no danger of 
sin in refusing to accept it. The call is an 
invitation, a privilege of such a nature that 
man is not obliged to make use of it. Of 
course no one attempts to deny that in both 
cases refusal means loss of opportunities 
for great good. But the performance of 
this good is rather a matter of generosity 
than of strict obligation. 



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